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Children opening a Christmas Blessing package
A previous "Christmas Blessing" project brought much joy to persecuted Christians and their families in Nigeria.

After a period of relative calm, violence has resumed in Plateau state -- resulting in the deadliest sectarian violence in Nigeria's recent history. The fatalities were perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen who have been primarily targeting Christian farmers in the country's Middle Belt. In fact, many experts now report that the attacks of this militant Muslim group have killed more people than those committed previously by the notorious Boko Haram terrorists.

According to a non-governmental organization on the ground, Stefanos Foundation, repeated attacks against Christian communities took place this September and October, leaving more than 75 slain. Throughout the course of the violence, 12 villages have been attacked. In addition to the casualties, 489 homes have been burned and 13,726 people displaced.

The violence continued to claim more lives in November. During the early hours of November 13th, two men, Christopher Dung and Bulus Dantoro, were ambushed and killed in Wereng village of Riyom Local Government Area. A week earlier, nine others were shot dead and four more injured as they returned from a weekly village market in the same government area. The injured victims identified the perpetrators as Fulani militants. Then, on November 30th, at least four more people were fatally injured after Fulani herdsmen, who were armed with guns, opened fire at a mining site in Jol village, also of Riyom Local Government Area.

On December 8th, at a delegation of Christian leaders from the Church of Christ in Nations, it was revealed that some of those responsible for the attacks have been arrested, although they have not been publicly identified as Fulani herdsmen. Further investigations are being made. To learn more about persecution in Nigeria, visit the Country Report.

Please prayerfully uphold the many injured and displaced victims of the recent targeted attacks -- those who have suffered immensely at the hands of the perpetrators. In the midst of their pain and heartache, may God demonstrate His loving kindness by ministering greatly needed healing, provision, comfort and strength. Pray that His wisdom and direction will be granted to those in positions of governmental authority so they can ensure justice, stability and peace for the inhabitants of this troubled area. Intercede also for the perpetrators of the violence in hopes that the hatred within each of their hearts will be replaced with a new spirit -- one that is tender and responsive to His transformative love (Ezekiel 36:26).

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

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    Rev. Silas Yakubu Ali - Photo: Facebook / Maureen Tabat
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    Photo: Facebook

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    Parents at the time of the kidnapping in 2014.
    Photo: Voice of America

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