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Destruction by the Fulani herdsmen - Photo: World Watch Monitor www.worldwatchmonitor.org
The aftermath of an attack in an undated photo.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

A pregnant mother was killed in the village of Ancha, Plateau State, on July 15th. Margaret Wakili, 27, was bringing food to her husband in the field when eight men, who are believed to be Fulani herdsmen, suddenly initiated an attack. The husband heard them shout, "Allahu Akbar, we have killed an infidel, and we need to kill more." That day, an elderly woman from the same village was also attacked and killed.

Prior to the two fatal tragedies in Ancha, another senseless attack had taken place in the village of Tafigana. On the evening of July 14th, Thomas Wollo was returning from choir practice with his seven-year-old son Nggwe when they were both killed and beheaded.

These alarming reports represent only a small sampling of the terrible violence that is gripping the hearts of Christians in Nigeria due to the unwarranted attacks of Fulani militants, as well as those perpetrated by members of the Boko Haram terrorist group. As a result, the organization, Jubilee Campaign, has petitioned the International Criminal Court to indict Boko Haram for genocide. The same report also documents more than 50 attacks committed by Fulani herdsmen during the first six months of 2019 alone.

Nigeria's government has been criticized by Amnesty International for its inaction. The disproportionate number of Christians being killed in Nigeria demonstrates the religious nature of the violence. Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam states that the violence has led to a "virtual abandonment of missions and evangelism in some affected areas." Left unchecked, he writes, "the death of the church (in Nigeria) could be a matter of years away." For more information on the suffering of Nigeria's Christians, go to our country report.

Please prayerfully remember the great number of grieving families and friends now suffering the loss of innocent loved ones who have been ruthlessly slaughtered in Nigeria for their faith. Pray that Christians throughout the region will have God's protection and wisdom in order that they be equipped to properly handle the ongoing violence. May the government and military leadership of Nigeria take the necessary steps to bring this violence to an end. For an even greater lasting solution, may the hearts of the militants involved be radically transformed spiritually by God's overpowering presence, truth and love.

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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