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Two Christian brothers, Ushahemba and Sughter Kumashenge, were ambushed and killed by Fulani militants on Saturday, August 22nd. The incident occurred on their farm in Taraba state, lending to concerns that militants in Nigeria's middle belt -- consisting of Kaduna, Taraba, Benue and Nasarawa states -- are joining forces with jihadists for the specific purpose of driving out Christians.

Over the summer, the violent attacks had intensified throughout northern Nigeria and its neighbouring country of Cameroon, causing some Christians in affected areas to refrain from attending church. On Saturday, July 25th, a 12-year-old girl detonated a suicide bomb within a crowded area in Maroua, northern Cameroon, killing 20 people and injuring 79 others. The following Friday, July 31st, six people died and eleven were injured in a massive bomb explosion at a market in Maiduguri, Nigeria -- the traditional heartland of the Nigerian violence.

Churches in Cameroon are presently struggling to contain the influx of approximately 60,000 Nigerian refugees and thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs). "The level of attendance has also fallen in various churches," explains Rev. Samuel Heteck, President of the Protestant Churches' Council in Northern Cameroon. "We have observed a lack of concentration among some worshippers during recent services as their ears remain attentive to any movement outside."

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari visited Cameroon at the end of July in order to bolster collaborative efforts against the notorious Boko Haram terrorist group. Fortunately, the Nigerian military reported on August 2nd that they had rescued 178 people, including 101 children, all of whom had been taken captive by Boko Haram in the Nigerian state of Borno. To learn more about persecution in Nigeria, click here.

In the aftermath of recent attacks, we ask the Lord to minister healing to all who were injured and provide comfort to those who are now mourning the loss of loved ones. May He also calm the violence in these affected regions and alleviate mounting fears. As religious and political leaders make difficult decisions in their efforts to resolve the country's crisis, pray for God to grant them wisdom and clear direction so that all those whom they govern may be able to live "peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (1 Timothy 2:2).

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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