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Christians survey the damage from a Fulani attack. - Photo: Release International www.releaseinternational.org
Photo: Release International

The ongoing violence in Nigeria by Fulani herdsmen has continued unabated. Christian villagers and churches are frequently targeted by militants holding to strict Islamic ideology. In recent weeks, several incidents have come to light, indicating the need for continued prayer, as well as a call for action by Nigerian authorities. In this report, a few of the more recent incidences will be highlighted.

On April 12th, family and friends were gathered to celebrate a marriage in the village of Tegina Kabata when Fulani militants interrupted the ceremony. The couple, together with some of the church members, were taken hostage.

Another attack on April 14th, this time in the village of Hura near the state capital of Jos, resulted in the deaths of three young children. A total of nine villagers were killed, including a pregnant mother who slipped as she tried to flee. The attackers shouted, "Allahu akbar! Come out, come out!" as villagers made their attempts to escape.

On April 19th, at least 36 homes had been destroyed and four residents killed when about 100 herdsmen invaded the village of Unguwan Magaji. According to witnesses, the gunmen shot at random as the villagers fled.

Gunmen also invaded Atang village on April 22nd, shooting in the air. At the time of this attack, they entered the home of Emmanuel Iliya Agiya, a church elder and son of the village chief, taking him away at gunpoint. The next day, gunmen raided the village of Kujeni. A woman and child were injured, and 25 houses were burned, as well as a church building.

An email from one of VOMC's ministry partners in Plateau State reports that two elderly Nigerian missionaries, along with a couple of youth, were shot on May 5th. The two ministry workers served at a mission training centre and its affiliated boarding school. Both workers were also very involved in helping the local Fulani community through the provision of education and first aid. It is suspected that the attackers were not local but from areas nearing the Nigeria and Niger border. Co-workers at the training centre are thankful to report that all four wounded victims are alive and receiving medical treatment.

For previous reports on the relentless attacks that have occurred against Christians in Nigeria, go to our country report.

In the face of this incessant and devastating violence, may Christians in Nigeria find their hope and resting place in the 'Rock of Ages.' Intercede for the wounded victims who are now in need of healing from their injuries, as well as the safety of those who've been kidnapped. Remember the grieving loved ones of the many who were killed in the recent attacks. Also pray that Nigeria's governing authorities will find a way to quell these attacks, and that God's Holy Spirit will work mightily in the hearts of the perpetrators.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC works with in-country partners to encourage and strengthen persecuted Christians through a variety of methods. 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 master's degrees and have a heart to share the Gospel with the lost in their community. Food aid is also provided to persecuted Christians living in IDP camps throughout Nigeria as an opportunity to encourage them and help them rebuild their lives.

Project Funds: Women’s Ministry, Bibles, VOM Medical, Families of Martyrs, Equipping the Saints, Relief and Development

Country Information

Population
203,452,505 (July 2018 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Hausa (27.4), Igbo (14.1), Yoruba (13.9), Fulani (6.3), Tiv (2.2), Ibibio (2.2), Izaw/Izon (2), Kanuri/Beriberi (1.7), Igala (1), Other (28.9)

Religion (%)
Islam (51.8), Christianity (46.9), Traditionalist (0.9), Unspecified (0.5)

Leader
President Muhammadu Buhari

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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