(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)
Sunset with the words, ''Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

Gunmen broke into the home of Pastor Daniel Umaru in Njairi, Adamawa State, during the early morning hours of July 6th. The results of the attack were devastating to the family. While Pastor Daniel survived the gunshot wound, his two sons were killed during the attack, and his 13-year-old daughter, Ijagla, was abducted. The pastor's wife was left in a state of unconsciousness due to the shock.

On Saturday, July 9th, a funeral service was held for the couple's two slain sons at the Church of the Brethren where Pastor Daniel serves. It was consoling during this time of grief that just after the service, their daughter Ijagla was safely freed after a "huge ransom" had been paid to the kidnappers.

Kidnapping for ransom has become a significant problem in Nigeria, and Christians are frequently the victims of such attacks. Many of the perpetrators responsible for terrorizing villages throughout the country operate from a militant Islamic perspective, causing them to commit acts of targeted violence against Christian communities. For more information on the persecution of Christians in Nigeria, go to our country report.

Please lift up Pastor Daniel and his wife in your prayers, asking God to minister healing to this grieving couple. May each of them not only experience full physical recovery but, along with their daughter, also healing from the emotional ramifications of the attack. Also prayerfully uphold their extended family, friends and community members who are likewise grieving this terrible loss. May urgently needed steps be taken by governing authorities to bring about justice by making the perpetrators accountable for their crimes – with hopes of putting an end to the unnecessary violence inflicted on our Nigerian brothers and sisters in Christ.

Current Ministry Projects

Through a vast variety of projects, VOMC works with in-country partners to encourage and strengthen Nigerian Christians who have experienced extreme forms of persecution. Christian widows receive trauma counselling to help them heal from the aftermath of tragically losing their husbands due to persecution-related attacks. These widows are also provided skills training so they can have a practical means of income to support their families. Children who have lost their parents and other relatives during incidents of persecution are provided a safe place in which to grow and be nurtured. Medical fees are paid for Christians who have suffered serious injuries perpetrated by militants affiliated with Nigeria’s Boko Haram and Fulani groups. Discipleship and vocational training are being offered to Muslim-background believers to help them start their new lives spiritually and practically.

The ministry also gives persecuted Christians who are completing their master's degrees – and have a desire to share the Gospel in their communities – the opportunity to benefit as recipients of the Glenn Penner Scholarship Award. Another one of VOMC’s projects in Nigeria involves the distribution of food aid to persecuted Christians residing within Internal Displacement Persons' (IDP) camps. Through this distribution effort, displaced believers who have been forced to flee their homes and communities because of their faith not only receive daily sustenance but also the encouragement that’s needed to rebuild their lives.

Project Funds: Women’s Ministry, Bibles (Distribution), Medical, 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.

end

Select a Region

Nigeria News

  • Dozens Kidnapped from Two Church Services
    A church service in Nigeria
    A Nigerian church service.
    Photo: Flickr / SIM USA (cc)

    Suspected Fulani herdsmen stormed a church in Suleja, Niger State, in the early morning of September 17th. Several of the church members who had gathered for an all-night prayer vigil were kidnapped, along with the pastor.