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President Goodluck Jonathan

In an online video released last week, the militant Muslim group Boko Haram demanded that Nigeria's Christian president either convert to Islam, or resign. Boko Haram head Abubakar Shekau told President Goodluck Jonathan to "repent and forsake Christianity," otherwise Shekau's followers would continue their violent campaign, but presidential spokesman Reuben Abati dismissed the demand.

As a Christian from Southern Nigeria, Jonathan's candidacy was already problematic since an unwritten agreement stipulated that candidates from the North and South would alternatively hold the presidency. The previous president, Yar'Adua, a Muslim northerner, had just succeeded a two-term Christian when his untimely death prematurely ended his term, causing many Islamists to want the next president to be Muslim again.

Although Jonathan won the last election by a landslide, more than 800 people were killed and dozens of churches torched during three days of rioting after the election result was announced. Boko Haram has since threatened to cleanse northern Nigeria of its Christians by bombing their churches and attacking their congregations.

Pray the Lord will protect President Goodluck Jonathan from harm. Pray that he will exemplify the love of God through consistent love and prayer for those who persecute him and his people (Matthew 5:43-48). Pray the Lord will intervene and bring a stop to Boko Haram's plans.

For more information on persecution in Nigeria, 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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    Photo: Gideon Agwom Mutum via Morning Star News

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