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Boko Haram
Photo: CBN News

More than a hundred Boko Haram militants stormed into the town of Garkida on February 21st, causing terrible chaos, loss and destruction. According to reports, they killed two soldiers at a military checkpoint before entering the town where they spent hours ransacking, looting and killing. By the time order was restored, at least three church buildings were destroyed, along with a police station, hospital, and an unspecified number of houses. During the compilation of this report, the total number of people killed or kidnapped had not yet been determined by local officials.

Garkida is a predominantly Christian town. At the time of the attack, an annual women's gathering for the Church of the Brethren was taking place. Thankfully none of the women who attended were killed. However, buildings belonging to the Brethren, Anglican and Living Faith churches were destroyed. Many of the residents fled the town for safety and, at last report, the military was patrolling the streets.

Christians are calling on government leaders to take decisive action against the violence they are repeatedly facing. On February 3rd, approximately five million Christians marched in protest, drawing attention to the overwhelming number of senseless murders that have taken place from years of terrorism attacks. More information on the extreme hostility that Christians in Nigeria have been forced to endure is available at our country report.

Please prayerfully uphold the many Christians of this community who have been traumatized as a result of the recent attack. Ask God to greatly comfort the loved ones of those killed and to divinely intervene on behalf of any who've been kidnapped. Pray that provision will be made available for community members who have lost their homes, churches, and/or personal belongings in the rampage. May the authorities be given wisdom, as well as needed law enforcement strategies, so they can effectively deal with the rampant violence. Last, but not least, intercede for the perpetrators that they will have a dramatic encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ who longs for their salvation and deliverance from the enemy of their souls.

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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