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A doctor tends to one of the victims of an Islamist attack on Christians in Heipang village, Plateau state.
Photo: Compass Direct

Muslim extremists, with the alleged help of Nigerian army personnel, killed 24 Christians last month in central Nigeria's Plateau state. The attacks started on August 11 in Ratsa Foron village and continued there on August 15, leaving six Christians dead. Also on August 15 in Heipang village, Muslim extremists killed nine members of one Christian family along with another believer. "I can swear to God Almighty that the attack was carried out with the support of the soldiers; I saw them," said a tearful Nnaji John, who lost her family in the attack. On August 14, in the community of Chwelnyap in Jos, Muslim extremists killed two Christians and injured one woman. A few days later, on August 21, assaults in Kwi, Loton and Jwol villages resulted in the deaths of six more Christians. Sources added that Nigerian army soldiers participated in the assaults or at least accompanied the assailants.

Plateau Governor Jonah Jang called for immediate withdrawal of the Nigerian army because he believed Muslims in the army had taken sides with Islamist assailants. "I am convinced that the armed forces are being polluted with the religious crisis in the country," Jang said. "Before now, the military personnel used to stay in the barracks, but today the armed forces have started taking sides in this religious crisis, and if they are not called to order it will be dangerous for the country."

Please pray the Lord will have mercy on this nation, pour out His Spirit and loosen the hold the enemy has over many of its people; for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12). Pray the Lord will give wisdom and strength to those in authority. Ask Him to comfort those who have suffered as a result of ongoing violent attacks.

Go to the Nigeria Country Report for more information about persecution in Nigeria.

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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