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A wounded Nigerian in one of the many attacks by Boko Haram
Photo: Compass Direct News

Members of the radical Islamic group, Boko Haram, killed 29 Christians in two days. Twenty Christians were gunned down on January 6 while holding a meeting to discuss ways to transport a body of a fellow Christian who was killed in an attack a day earlier. The martyrs in the January 5 attack were attending a worship service at Deeper Life Church in Gombe when the attack took place.

The killings followed a threat issued on January 1 by Boko Haram telling Christians to leave northern Nigeria within three days (for more information, click here). The group fights for the implementation of a strict form of Shariah law all over Nigeria, including the southern region of Nigeria where Christians are the majority. The Nigerian government declared a state of emergency to contain anti-Christian violence.

Rev. James Wuye, a northern Nigerian church leader, has urged Nigerian Christians not to resort to revenge in the face of increasing attacks. He said, "I ask Christians in Nigeria that we should exercise restraint and pray that the God of Elijah will surely fight for us. And Christians should show love for their neighbours because that is what Jesus Christ teaches."

Pray the Lord will give Christians the grace and strength to resist taking up arms against their attackers. Pray the Lord will bring rest and peace to this troubled nation. Pray for those who have lost loved ones; may they be filled with the joy that comes from knowing that they will see them again at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18). Pray for the Nigerian government, the military and the members of Boko Haram.

For more on Nigeria's suffering Church, 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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