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The result of a previous Boko Haram
car bombing in Jos, Nigeria.
Diariocritico de Venezuela via Barnabas Fund

At least 28 Christians were brutally murdered by militants during the weeks of Christmas and New Year's.

On January 2nd, Fulani militants torched houses and killed 15 people in Ambe-Madaki village, Kaduna State. Ten others in the same area were murdered days earlier on December 27th. In Plateau State, Fulani gunmen killed three Christians in Kantoma village on New Year's Eve. One of the believers was gruesomely beheaded, creating a wave of panic. In Gombe city, Gombe State, a suicide bomb attack caused injuries to at least eight Christians who were guarding a New Year's Day prayer service. The explosion is thought to be the work of the Muslim militant group Boko Haram, in keeping with their declaration of an Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria. Churches, which are often the target of Boko Haram bomb attacks, were thankfully spared over Christmas.

"Christians in northern Nigeria face attack on two fronts: by Fulani militants who want their land, and Boko Haram who want an Islamic state," explains Paul Robinson, the Chief Executive Officer of Release International (VOMC's sister mission in the UK). He further notes the concern that Boko Haram may attempt to step up their attacks prior to the country's forthcoming elections in February.

In the midst of ongoing chaos and carnage in Nigeria, pray that God will grant much needed peace and strength to the assaulted church there. In particular, may those now grieving the loss of loved ones due to these latest attacks be greatly comforted and given the ability to extend grace and forgiveness to the persecutors. Also pray that those recuperating from injuries will experience a full and swift recovery. In the coming weeks, may adequate security measures be taken to ensure safety for all citizens during the election, and may those elected work for greater stability in Nigeria.