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Damages at the Shalom Church in Kaduna city
Photo: Compass Direct News

The Boko Haram Islamic sect has claimed responsibility for the bombing of three churches in Kaduna state, Nigeria, on June 17 -- the third consecutive Sunday that Christian worship services in the country have ended in bloodshed.

An attacker crashed a car into a barricade at an Evangelical Church Winning All building, detonating a bomb that killed at least 24 people and wounded about 125. Moments later, extremists bombed the Christ the King Catholic Church building in Zaria, killing another dozen people. Not long after, the Shalom Church building in Kaduna city was bombed, killing at least 10. Retaliatory attacks reportedly killed several others.

Boko Haram has killed at least 560 people this year, according to the Associated Press. The Islamist sect has targeted churches, state offices, law enforcement sites and some moderate mosques in its effort to destabilize the government and impose a strict version of Shariah (Islamic law) on all of Nigeria.

Please pray that the Lord will bless believers in Nigeria with the strength and compassion to model Christ-like love to all, despite the persecution they face. Please pray that God will grant leaders and law enforcement officers with wisdom and integrity. Pray that the violence will stop and peace and reconciliation will prevail. Pray that, in the meantime, increased persecution will result in increased boldness among believers in Nigeria (Acts 4:29-31).

Visit the Nigeria Country Report for more information on Nigeria's persecuted Church.

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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