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Living Faith Church Damaturu, Nigeria, destroyed
by Boko Haram, 11 October 2011
Photo: World Watch Monitor


According to the new 2013 edition of the World Watch List, produced by Open Doors, Nigeria is considered the most dangerous country for a Christian to live. The researchers report, "Between November 2011 and October 2012, we recorded 1,201 killings of Christians worldwide of which 791 happened in Nigeria." Since 2009, the attacks of Boko Haram, a militant Islamic group, have claimed the lives of more than 3,000 people. The majority of the attacks were made against churches -- spanning from the capital Abuja, across mid-to-northern Nigeria, and through to Sharia-law northern states.

In the militant group's ruthless attempts to overthrow the government for the purpose of creating an Islamic state, the resulting havoc and destruction has taken its toll in what is known as Africa's most populous country. And the aftermath of the tragedies affecting Nigeria's innocent victims can be described as excruciating. Deborah painfully recalls how her husband was shot dead in front of her, and how their two daughters, ages 7 and 9, were taken away by the perpetrators on April 25th, 2012. This distraught mother has not received any news of her girls since then. A few months after their abduction, her third child (a son) was shot and killed. To hear the testimonies of three other Nigerian widows who were caught in the midst of the country’s violence, visit our multimedia site.

While many Christian families have been able to flee from these volatile areas, a small minority of remaining residents are now living in constant fear of further unexpected attacks. In an effort to provide some protection, the government has deployed a special army-police unit. However, it's reported that the security is still fragile in this part of the world. To better understand the plight of believers in Nigeria, go to the Nigeria Country Report.

Please continue to pray for the surviving victims of the attacks, as well as those who have tragically lost loved ones. May our Heavenly Father assure them of His comforting presence and tremendous love, while also providing them a safe place in which they can heal and be restored. Ask that He give the government officials (including Nigeria's Christian president, Goodluck Jonathan) wisdom and support, both nationally and internationally, as they raise up a standard against the tide of evil seeking to overcome them. In fact, pray that God will somehow capture the attention of the members of Boko Haram, helping them to realize the seriousness of their actions against His innocent people and leading them to sincere repentance and spiritual transformation.

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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