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Hassana and Hussaina Garba - Photo: Facebook
Hassana and Hussaina Garba
Photo: Facebook

The violence dominating areas of Nigeria continues as Fulani herdsmen terrorize village communities. Unfortunately, Christians are frequently targeted in these attacks. On September 18th, a church elder was shot in the stomach and his twin daughters kidnapped from their home in Katsina State. Thankfully, Ibrahim Garba survived the attack and received treatment in hospital. His teenaged daughters, Hassana and Hussaina, were released three days later.

Such incidents do not always end so positively, however, as was demonstrated in several other recent cases throughout Plateau State. On September 28th, the village of Kpachudu was also attacked by Fulani herdsmen. Two young women and a six-year-old boy were killed. A week before that, a 64-year-old Christian leader was lured out of his home with a phone call. Leaving the house to get better reception, he was ambushed and hacked to death with machetes.

On October 14th, Fulani militants ambushed Justine Patrick and two Christian companions as they were returning to Chaha village after working in the fields. The companions managed to escape, but Justine was killed with machetes.

These are only a few of the many cases of violence encountered by Nigeria's Christian population. The governor of Plateau State declared through a spokesman, "We will not allow these ugly incidences to return where helpless and innocent people are murdered in cold blood for no reason." He urged citizens to cooperate with security forces by providing information.

Despite many such pleas, the violence has continued unabated, leading some organizations to refer to the situation in Nigeria as genocide. For additional reports on the violence targeting Christians in Nigeria, go to our country report.

Our hearts unite with the petitions of these dear Nigerian Christians who are choosing to faithfully abide with God in the midst of danger, even if it means dying with His name on their lips. What a comfort to know that those who have been slain are immediately drawn into His presence where they will experience eternal peace (2 Corinthians 5:8). May each of our surviving Nigerian brothers and sisters in Christ also take comfort in knowing that the "Good Shepherd" is walking closely by their side through this difficult time. In addition to pleading for their protection, pray for the healing of victims injured in the attacks, and for God's peace to console all who have tragically lost loved ones. May Nigeria's security forces, with the support of its governing leadership, find ways to quell these acts of genocide so believers can live peacefully and without further threat of violence.

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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