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Rev. David Usman and his
wife at his 2009 ordination
Photo: Compass Direct

Two Christians were recently killed by members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram in the northeastern town of Maiduguri, Nigeria. Pastor David Usman (45) and Hamman Andrew, the church secretary, were shot dead near the church in an area of Maiduguri called the Railway Quarters. In 2009, when the church was set on fire by militants, Pastor David had reportedly raised the problem of Boko Haram with his superiors and commented that the Government needed to do more to stop their aggression.

Boko Haram, a sect committed to extending strict Islamic or Sharia law across Nigeria, has been responsible for several recent attacks in the region, including deadly bombings. The violence has been widely interpreted as a protest against April's national elections, which returned Christian incumbent Goodluck Jonathan to power. The fighting has left many in the Christian community terrified for their lives. "We no longer feel free moving around the city and most churches no longer carry out worship services for fear of becoming targets of these unprovoked attacks," said one local pastor.

Thank the Lord for the life and faith of Pastor David and Hamman. Ask God to surround their grieving loved ones with his comfort. Pray that Nigerian Christians will be emboldened and sustained by the Holy Spirit as they serve the Lord in a climate of intense violence. Pray that those who persecute Christians in Nigeria will repent and embrace Christ as Lord.

For more information on suffering Christians 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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