May 7, 2020

NIGERIA: Violence Continues Unabated

Christians survey the damage from a Fulani attack. - Photo: Release International www.releaseinternational.org
Photo: Release International

The ongoing violence in Nigeria by Fulani herdsmen has continued unabated. Christian villagers and churches are frequently targeted by militants holding to strict Islamic ideology. In recent weeks, several incidents have come to light, indicating the need for continued prayer, as well as a call for action by Nigerian authorities. In this report, a few of the more recent incidences will be highlighted.

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LAOS: Girl Facing Charges After Resisting Attack

Bountheung Phetsomphone and his friend - Photo: VOM USA
Bountheung Phetsomphone
(right) and his friend
Photo: VOM USA

Nang Tookta Phetsomphone is a Christian girl who worked for a Chinese national but quit when he failed to pay her wages. A month later, he asked her to return to the store, promising to pay her. When she arrived, he forced her into a restroom and pulled out a knife, threatening to kill her unless she submitted to him. Somehow, in the midst of the struggle, her attacker was stabbed and killed.

Immediately following the incident, Tookta reported what took place and was detained. Eventually she was released from provincial custody without charge, but district authorities refused to drop the case and continued to detain her. These authorities are demanding that her family leave their Christian faith and pay a large monetary restitution to the family of her attacker. They will only "consider" releasing her if the family complies. At last report, Tookta has not been able to talk to any family members nor obtain legal representation.

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CHINA: Worshippers Dragged from House Church

A woman during the raid - Photo: ChinaAid www.chinaaid.org
This woman was among the believers who were present during the raid.
Photo: ChinaAid

The Xingguang Church in Xiamen city meets in a residence because they refuse to join the government-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement. On May 3rd, security officers burst into the home while the church was gathered for worship. The Christian men who had been guarding the door were pinned down and worshippers were forcefully dragged out of the home. Calling the meeting illegal, the officers demanded that church members stop recording with their cell phones and then confiscated them. However, a short video clip has been made available here.

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