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Property damaged at St. James Anglican Cathedral
Photo: Morning Star News


Several attendants of a church in Lafia, Nasarawa, were severely injured by a mob of Muslim militants in an attack that was prompted by an altercation over a miniscule amount of money. During the early evening of August 17th, while the choir was rehearsing, Rev. Isaac Onwusongaonye held a Bible study meeting with the elders of St. James Anglican Cathedral. At the time of the meeting, he was informed about a confrontation that took place at the church's water borehole. The confrontation led to a violent assault against the church building and those in it. Reportedly, a Muslim woman in the community had incited neighbouring militants to attack the church after engaging in a minor dispute with a young Christian man who runs the borehole...over the payment of 20 naira, which is equivalent to about one cent (CAD) in change.

Despite the church's attempts to defuse the row by waiving the fee, the woman's son and associates responded with violence. Using knives, clubs, motorcycle chains, iron poles and wooden rods, the angry mob of 30 attacked the church's security guards, causing most of them to be hospitalized. In addition, three pastors, four elders, and an indeterminate number of choir members sustained injuries. Church property was also destroyed. Thankfully, the arrival of police averted plans to burn down the church building. While the ringleader's mother was initially arrested, she was later discharged in exchange for her son. The case is still under investigation. (For more information on persecution in this country, please check the Nigeria Country Report.)

Thank the Lord for the courage of the security guards who risked their lives while trying to protect the church. Pray that these guards and others who were wounded during the attack will not succumb to fear, but rather would set their eyes on our Almighty God as their Protector and Deliverer. Ask Him to minister to the traumatized victims, granting them needed comfort and healing. May the Lord encourage and reward the church’s leaders and congregation members, bringing justice in this situation and blessing their outreach in the community.

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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