Displaying items by tag: Nigeria

Thursday, 29 September 2022 20:37

Nigeria: challenges and opportunities

Each zone in Nigeria has unique challenges and opportunities. Christian persecution increases, especially in the north. Some Muslim groups have killed thousands and destroyed hundreds, possibly thousands, of churches. Persecution unites Christians, driving them to the Lord in prayer. It also threatens the core of society and statehood. Pray for restoration and recovery for those who suffer from loss, or rape. Pray for forgiveness and freedom from a spirit of revenge. Pray that believers respond in the most Christ-like way possible, and for enemies of Christ to become His followers. In the south oil industries have polluted pristine agricultural land but only an elite (corrupt) few have benefited. Pentecostal churches are growing: may God give them sacrificial concern for the less privileged in the less-reached areas. Muslim missionary activity has intensified to win ethnic religions and backsliding Christians. Pray for cross-cultural outreach and true conversion of youth.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 09 September 2022 09:47

Nigeria: Christians targeted for forced marriages

A recent UN report stated as many as three out of four women are forced into marriage among certain Nigerian groups. Take for example Lena, a 14-year-old girl. She became a Christian, but as her father was a Muslim leader in the mosque, she knew it was going to cause problems. Sure enough, she survived physical abuse from her father, forced marriage, and violent sexual assault. By the time she finally escaped, she was a single mother who could not read or write. She persevered with an education and vocational training to be self-supporting. After attending a discipleship school, Lena plans on going back to her hometown, this time as a missionary. Pray for Nigerian women suffering persecution and assault. Pray for healed emotions for the traumatised. Ask God to touch the hearts of abusers perpetuating violence, and thank Him for the courage of women like Lena.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 12 August 2022 10:19

Nigeria: a dangerous society

In 2017 Fulani militants seized a Christian mother’s land and burned down her house, forcing her and her family to move closer to the city for safety. Loss of their farmland forced the family of seven into deep poverty, living and sleeping in one room. On 8 August Fulani militants attempted to rape her 16-year-old daughter while they were out walking. A missionary visited the family after the attack and the mother said, ‘They told us to stop, then they beat me as I tried to stop them from raping my daughter.’ She showed the deep gash in her arm she received from the militants, and said God used her to protect her daughter from public disgrace and shame, which is how victims of rape are viewed in their society. ‘I have nothing to say but thank God. Please tell Christians to pray for us. Pray that we will return to our village one day. Life is too expensive in the city.’

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 15 July 2022 09:45

Nigeria: mass escape from prison

Hundreds of prisoners escaped from the Kuje medium-security prison near Abuja due to an attack attributed to Boko Haram. Equipped with explosives, the attackers freed 600 of the 994 inmates and only about half of the escaped prisoners have been found. A large number of captured Boko Haram fighters were released in the attack. Armed extremist groups have been gaining power in Nigeria, with a lack of effective opposition from security forces and government officials. Boko Haram has maintained an insurgency in Northern Nigeria for thirteen years and displaced over 2.4 million people through violent attacks and threats. They have murdered tens of thousands of Christians and forcibly converted many others. Please pray for the end of their attacks, and for the Lord to soften the hearts of militants.

Published in Worldwide

In Afghanistan, after America and its allies withdrew, the Taliban controlled the government, declaring an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, employing harsh tactics to expose Christians. This has brought persecution in Afghanistan to its highest levels since the Taliban’s first government in 1996. In Nigeria Fulani Militants, the largest nomadic ethnic group, have killed tens of thousands of Christians and left many more homeless since 2000. Having seen increasing violence against Nigeria’s Christian population in the Middle Belt, it is alleged that the Fulani militant aggression is aided by stakeholders within the Nigerian government. Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s Supreme Leader, exerts control over every aspect of Iranian life, both physically and spiritually. As an Islamic republic, Iran poses severe limits on the ability of Christians to practice their religion, enforcing a hardline regime that allows the brutal torture and execution of many Iranian Christians.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 17 June 2022 09:56

Nigeria: kidnapping and ransom demands

The Nigerian government is about to pass a bill that will punish those who pay ransoms with up to fifteen years in prison. It would also give a death sentence to those who commit abductions. Armed groups have kidnapped hundreds of people for ransom across Nigeria over the last two years. Most recently, a ransom of $240,000 was paid by the Nigerian Methodist Church after eight gunmen abducted its head, His Eminence Samuel Kanu, and two other pastors while they were on their way to the airport in Nigeria’s southeastern state of Abia. The clergymen’s driver and one other church member managed to escape. The 69-year-old recounted how the abductors showed them the rotted bodies of previous victims, threatening to do the same with him. Archbishop Chibuzo Opoko, who heads the Methodist church in Abia State, said paying the ransom was necessary.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 09 June 2022 23:57

Two Chibok girls achieve degrees

Two of the 276 Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram extremists in 2014 have completed their master’s degrees in the USA. Lydia Pogu completed a masters in Human Services Administration, and Joy Bishara a masters in Social Work. ‘Boko Haram told us that school is a taboo for women and warned us that if we went back to school, they would come for us,’ said Lydia. ‘I thought all my dreams had changed, but God had a different plan for me.’

Published in Praise Reports
Thursday, 09 June 2022 22:34

Nigeria: Pentecost Sunday murders

Gunmen burst into St Francis Catholic Church in Ondo state. They opened fire and set off explosives, killing dozens of worshippers, including many children, who were celebrating Mass on Pentecost Sunday. Legislator Adelegbe Timileyin told local media that at least fifty people were dead. While much of Nigeria has struggled with security issues, Ondo is widely known as one of the country’s most peaceful states. Its state governor said, ‘This vile and satanic attack is a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of Owo Kingdom. I appeal to our people to maintain calm and let the security agencies take charge. The perpetrators will never escape. We are after them. And I can assure you we will get them.’ While radical Fulani militants have terrorised the Middle Belt region over the past two decades, authorities are still investigating the source of Sunday’s attack.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 13 May 2022 09:23

Global: rising Christian persecution

Release International reports, ‘With all eyes on Russia’s assault on Ukraine, we will be watching closely to see how Russia is treating Christians of faiths other than Russian Orthodox.’ The USCIRF has long criticised the Taliban for their extremist policies. Its 2022 report warns, ‘Afghans who do not adhere to the Taliban’s harsh and strict interpretation of Sunni Islam and adherents of other faiths or beliefs are in grave danger. With the Taliban’s return to power, religious freedom conditions in Afghanistan, and the overall human rights situation, have significantly deteriorated. Christian converts (and other minorities) practise their faith in hiding due to fear of reprisal and threats from the Taliban.’ Also religious persecution in India has taken a significant turn for the worse. In Nigeria there is an anti-Christian dimension to much of the violence which the government is failing to control.

Published in Worldwide

Osinachi Nwachuckwu was best known for featuring in the hit gospel song Ekuweme has died in an Abuja hospital. Police have arrested her husband. Initial reports said the 42-year old had been sick with throat cancer, but her family deny that, alleging she had been a victim of domestic abuse. A police spokesperson said an investigation was underway to determine the cause of her death. Many Nigerians, especially Christians, have reacted with sorrow and anger to the news of her death. Some have gone online to urge religious leaders not to advise church members to stay in abusive relationships. Domestic violence has also been trending on social media.

Published in Worldwide
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