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

Increasing violence in Nigeria has only strengthened local Christians' faith, even sparking a revival at the Deeper Life Bible Church in Gombe, where nine Christians were martyred in a January 5 attack (for more information, click here).

During a funeral service on January 19 for those killed, many believers rededicated their lives to Christ, and others came to faith in Christ for the first time. Weeping and singing while on their knees, a choir led about 500 attendees and 50 pastors in worship. The martyrs' relatives and other dignitaries -- including the deputy governor speaking on behalf of the state's governor -- spoke about each murdered Christian. The four-hour service then moved on to intercessory prayer for the Church in Nigeria, the nation at large, Muslims in Nigeria, and the Muslim extremist group Boko Haram.

"The leader of the prayers based most of the prayers from the book of Isaiah 61:1–4, among other scriptures, which strengthen and encourage the Church. He encouraged the Church to be more prayerful than complaining," said a VOM worker. "He said the Lord knows how to fight His own battle in His own way, and we should not revenge whatsoever."

Pray that the Lord will continue to comfort and provide for those mourning. Pray that He will sustain the faith of believers in Nigeria during these difficult trials. Pray that Christians in Nigeria will receive a crown of beauty, the oil of joy and the garment of praise from the Lord (Isaiah 61:3).

To learn more about persecution in Nigeria, go to the Nigeria Country Report.