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Emergency workers carry away the body of one killed
in the recent suicide bombing in Jos, Nigeria.
Photo: Compass Direct News

A suicide bomber has killed eight people, including two boys and an expectant mother, after detonating an explosive device just outside a church in Nigeria. The car bomb that was detonated outside the gate of St. Finbarr's Catholic Church on March 11 could be heard up to two kilometres away, shattering the glass in buildings within a 200-metre radius. It is believed the attacks are the work of Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group that seeks to impose a strict version of Shariah (Islamic law) in Nigeria.

The bombing has led to outbreaks of more violence, and some state health and police sources have reported unconfirmed "reprisal" attacks against Muslims. Witnesses have also reported additional deaths of Christians at the hands of military personnel. Some sources said soldiers killed four Christians when they were confronted about how the car containing the bomb had made it past security.

This is the second such bombing in the Christian community of Jos in Plateau State in recent weeks. An earlier bombing at a church in late February killed several people (for more information, click here).

Please pray that those mourning the loss of loved ones will find comfort in Christ. Pray for a peace that surpasses all understanding for those living amidst the ensuing violence. Pray that God will give Nigerian Christians the patience to entrust true justice into the hands of God (Romans 12:17-21).

For more on the persecuted Church in Nigeria, go to 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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