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Fulani herdsmen have admittedly slain hundreds of Christian farmers in Benue state, central Nigeria. The heavily armed herdsmen attacked about 300 farmers between February 22nd and 29th in the Agatu local government area of this mainly Christian state, and at least eight others have been killed on March 8th in the Logo area.

As a result of the attacks, five villages were "utterly destroyed" and numerous homes looted. An estimated 7,000 people have been displaced and forced to seek refuge in camps. Government officials state that the herdsmen have begun clearing the areas voluntarily but locals have noticed that the attackers and their cattle are still occupying villages in Agatu.

Herdsmen leaders are justifying their murderous actions, claiming that they were committed in retaliation for the thousands of cows that were reportedly killed by local villagers – although there is no evidence backing their accusation. A fact-finding team, which included a human rights lawyer, suspects that the violence was religiously motivated. It was further noted that the churches and Christian homes in these particular areas had been specifically targeted while the mosques were left untouched.

Information on another attack committed by Fulani herdsmen earlier this year is available here.

May all in Nigeria who have experienced loss and displacement as a result of this recent crisis be especially comforted by the Good Shepherd who willingly laid down His own life so that they could have abundant life in Him (John 10:10-11). Pray that He will lovingly bind up the brokenhearted, heal the afflicted, and bring provision to those in need. Uphold the country's governing leaders, requesting that they be granted the wisdom, courage and strength to discern and do His will while tackling the extremism perpetrated by the militants. Also pray that the Lord of the spiritual battle will dismantle and disarm the enemy's power so that the bloodshed of His people would cease. We cry out for safe pastures on behalf of Nigeria's Christians that they may live, work and worship in peace.

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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