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Muslims attacked the predominately Christian village of Mazzah, near the city of Jos, on July 17, killing eight people and burning seven houses and a church building. At approximately 1:30 a.m., Muslims entered the village and began shooting sporadically in the air to lure sleeping residents outside their homes. They then attacked people with machetes, including children. Seven were killed instantly, while another died on the way to the hospital. Three others were seriously injured.

During the attack, Reverend Nuhu Dawat of the Church of Christ in Nigeria escaped with one of his children, but his wife and two other children were killed. His grandson, Nanfa, was shot in the foot, thrown in a bathroom and left to die. Fortunately, he was found by the police and taken to hospital, where he is recuperating well.

Villagers claim that although the security forces were called and arrived in time to quell the violence, they waited until the attack had ended before entering Mazah. The area is currently reported to be "quiet but tense." Some residents have fled the area in fear of further violence.

The attack followed recent clashes in eastern Nigeria in which eight people were also killed and several buildings torched (click here for more). Some observers say the violent attacks are the result of religion being exploited in the struggle for local power. There is also fear that such conflict could increase in the run up to elections expected early next year. (Source: AFP, Christian Solidarity Worldwide)

Please pray that those who have lost loved ones will know God's comfort. Pray for Nigerian authorities as they seek to restore law and order in the region. Pray that those responsible will be brought to justice. Ask God to enable Nigerian Christians to respond to their persecutors in a Christ-like manner, with forgiveness and without retaliation.

For more information on persecution in Nigeria, please visit the Nigeria Country Report.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC works with in-country partners to encourage and strengthen persecuted Christians through a variety of methods. Christians are equipped with audio bibles to distribute to their persecutors. Christian widows receive skills training and trauma counselling as a way to provide an income for their families and heal from the trauma they’ve faced in losing their husbands. Children who have lost parents and relatives due to attacks are provided with a safe place to grow and be nurtured. Medical fees are paid for Christians who have suffered injuries due to attacks by Boko Haram and Fulani. Discipleship and vocational training are given to Muslim Background Believers to help them start their new lives spiritually and practically. The Glenn Penner Scholarship Award is used to help equip persecuted Christians completing their Masters and have a heart to share the Gospel with the lost in their community.

Project Funds: Women’s Ministry, Bibles, Medical Fund, Families of Martyrs, Equipping the Saints, Relief & Development

Country Information

Population
219,463,862 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Hausa (30), Yoruba (15.5), Igbo (15.2), Fulani (6), Tiv (2.4), Kanuri/Beriberi (2.4), Ibibio (1.8), Izaw/Izon (1.8), Other (24.7)

Religion (%)
Islam (53.5), Christianity (45.9), Other (0.6)

Leader
President Muhammadu Buhari (2015)

Government type
Federal presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law (in 12 northern states), and traditional law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Nigeria

May God minister great comfort and healing to all who have been injured or bereaved as a result of the militants' brutal attacks. In addition, pray for the remaining abducted Chibok schoolgirls, that they will be assured of the Lord's abiding presence as they await release from captivity. Continue to uphold President Buhari and other members of the Nigerian government as they make further attempts to rescue the remaining girls and provide protection for vulnerable citizens. As they persevere in their endeavours to overcome terrorism, may they be granted wisdom, courage, strength and help from on high.

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