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Former Nigerian president,
Goodluck Jonathan (in hat),
stands with newly sworn-in
President Buhari during
the inauguration.
Photo: Flickr
U.S. Department of State

Within recent weeks, hard-liners from the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram have murdered nearly 100 people in attacks ranging from Maiduguri and its surrounding towns in Borno State, to Madagali in Adamawa State of northeast Nigeria. During its six-year history of military offensives, Boko Haram has murdered more than 15,000 people, primarily targeting Christians who have faced slaughter, forced conversion, kidnapping and rape.

In April of 2014, the terrorist group abducted 276 young girls from a government school in Chibok. Some have escaped, but most remain in captivity. Nigeria's president, Muhammadu Buhari, announced that he is prepared to negotiate with Boko Haram to secure the release of the approximate 200 remaining schoolgirls. Unfortunately, intelligence had no report on the girls' whereabouts or their health. A previous report on the abduction of the schoolgirls is available here.

President Buhari took office in May of last year with a promise to defeat the group, giving the military a deadline to end the six-year insurgency by the end of 2015. Since his inauguration, Boko Haram has killed nearly 2,000 people. Although the terrorists have been successfully driven out from most of the areas in northeastern Nigeria that were formerly under their control, they have continued to carry out suicide bombings and raids into the neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger. While the military has managed to free hundreds of Boko Haram captives in recent months, the groups released didn't include any of the Chibok schoolgirls. To learn more about the rescue of the hostages, click here.

Please continue to pray for the surviving victims in Nigeria who have been targeted and attacked by Boko Haram, as well as the loved ones of those who were tragically killed. May these grieving believers not despair in their sufferings but, instead, look to the Lord for strength, comfort, healing and hope. Ask Him to make a way for negotiations to take place between President Buhari and Boko Haram, resulting in the safe release of the remaining captured Chibok students. In the meantime, intercede for the protection of these young girls -- physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually -- and that God's assurance will bring needed encouragement to their distraught families. Despite the dangers and threats faced by Christians in this country, may their faith remain strong and undaunted, serving as a vibrant testimony to others in need of the Lord's salvation, including the members of Boko Haram and their sympathizers.

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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