The Church Persecuted
Here, we aim to offer support for those committed to pray in support of Christians around the world who face persecution. In particular, we include below brief details of the nation for this month. For further information to support you as you pray, click on the links below.
Leader: President Muhammadu Buhari
Population: 191.8 million (95.9 million Christians)
Main Religion: Islam, Christianity
Government: Federal Republic
World Watch List Rank: 12
Source of Persecution: Islamic Extremism
Hundreds of Christians were killed in northern Nigeria in 2016.
While the Nigerian army has had some success in tackling the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram, most of the recorded killings have been carried out by Hausa-Fulani herdsmen, a radical Islamic tribe that frequently targets Christian communities. In 12 of the northern states, Sharia (Islamic law) has been implemented, and Christians in these states face discrimination and restrictions in accessing community resources, such as clean water, health clinics and higher education.
- For the protection of Nigerian Christians,
particularly for women who are in danger of being abducted and forced to
marry Muslim men
- For comfort for the thousands of Nigerian
Christians displaced in targeted violence. Pray for wisdom for Open
Doors partners as they serve these communities
- For provision for Christians in northern states who are often denied access to vital resources.
A girl sleeps peacfully in her school in Chibok, a polace where she is able to learn, to lauch with her friends, to feel safe. Then, one night, she is woekn roughly by a man who points a gun at her. she is forced into a truck with many of her friends. It's dark but she feels the truck move. She doesn't know where she is ging or ifshe will ever return.
The Chibok girlsmade the headlines wheh they were abducted in Aril 2014, but sadly their story is not an isolated one. Boko Harem, the islamic group who took the Chibok girls, are responsible for thousands of deaths and abductions, mainly of Christians. One woman who was kidnapped but managed to escape, said "Out of fear I have converted to Islam. Will Christ accept me back?"
Christians also face violent attack, especially from Hausi-Faluni Muslim herdsmen. Their attacks are no less devasgtatin - they have killed thousands of Christian and destroyed or target hundreds of churches. And yet, several states are planning to give these herdsmangrazing fieldsout of the land indigenous to Christian communities.
In parts of northern Nigeria, where 12 states have adopted Islamic Law, Christians have taken to dressing like Muslims in order to avoid being lynched. Christian girls are in very real danger of being abducted and forced to marry. Even when not being directly attacked, Christians in the region are discriminated against. Their communities are left without basic facilities such as clean water and health clinics and access to higher level school and acess to secondary school or higher eduation is more is frequently denied to Christians. Access to free school or high or education is frequently denied to Christains.
There is concern that Christian will be tempted to retalliate against their Muslim neighbours, creating a cycle of violence. Yet many Christians are learning to reach out to their community. Damaris Attsen, whose husband was murdered in anti-Christian riots, says, "I have forgiven and God will help me to love everybody. It is not easy but it is God who will give us the grace to love"
For more details please see the following website:
Open Doors Christian Solidarity Worldwide