Nigeria - Believers praying and worshipping - Photo: VOMC

Nigeria

Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, is sharply divided along religious lines with a Muslim-dominated north and a majority-Christian south. There are more than 80 million professing Christians in Africa's most populous nation, the fruit of both pioneer mission work and the return of freed slaves who carried the Gospel with them to the African continent following the abolition of slavery in England during 1833. Foreign missionary activity in the Muslim majority north has declined significantly over the past ten years as a result of the emergence of the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram. Although the militants appear to have weakened in the northeast, it is believed they are the source of increasing attacks on Christian villages by a group of militant Fulani herdsmen, a tribe known for its adherence to strict Islam.

Life for Christians:

Nearly all Christians in northeastern Nigeria have lost family members due to the violence perpetrated by the terrorist groups. Entire congregations have been displaced, and many pastors have been forced to leave the region. Being active in the church looks much different than it did 15 years ago. Today, it takes great courage and faith to openly worship and serve Christ. Thousands of Christians remain in camps designated for internally displaced people. With few schools able to operate because of the violence, families are concerned about their children's education. Life is a constant struggle and, in some places, it's even difficult to find food.

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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Nigeria News

  • Fatalities Caused by Recent Attacks
    Men carrying the casket of a slain believer.
    Christian funerals have become far too common in Nigeria.
    Photo: Evangelical Church Winning All Nigeria

    On September 26th, a group of gunmen raided a church in Gavaciwa, Kaduna State, and opened fire in the midst of the worship service. One worshipper, Nasiru Abdullahi, was killed as a result of the

    ...
  • Mob Kills Pastor Over Alleged Conversion
    Video: Will the Violence Against Christians Never End?
    View this video to learn more about the ongoing violence in Nigeria.

    Rev. Yohanna Shuaibu was the pastor of the New Life for All Nation Church in the Nigerian village of Masu, located in Kano State. He also served as the local chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria. After being attacked on

    ...
  • Pastor and Other Christians Killed
    Rev. Silas Yakubu Ali - Photo: Facebook / Maureen Tabat
    Rev. Silas Yakubu Ali
    Photo: Facebook

    On Saturday, September 11th, Rev. Silas Yakubu Ali left his home in the Zangon Kataf area of Kaduna, Nigeria, and set off for the town of Kafanchan, but was not heard from again. Early the next morning, a search party found his body, which was inflicted with bul

    ...
  • Chibok Schoolgirl Recently Reunited with Family
    Parents weeping after the kidnapping in 2014 - Photo: Voice of America
    Parents at the time of the kidnapping in 2014.
    Photo: Voice of America

    Ruth Pagu was one of over 200 girls abducted during the 2014 raid on a secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria. Although some of the students have managed to escape captivity over the past seven years, more than 100 of them remain mis

    ...