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Rev. Polycarp Zongo - Photo: YouTube
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube

On October 19th, Rev. Polycarp Zongo from the Church of Christ in Nations went missing, along with two Christian women. Ten days later, it was discovered that the three Nigerians had been kidnapped by militants from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). This faction is a breakaway from the formerly reported Boko Haram terrorist group.

In a YouTube video that was released on October 29th, Rev. Polycarp recounted how he had been travelling from Jos to the city of Gombe when suddenly stopped by armed men. In the video, the reverend appealed to the Nigerian government and fellow church leaders to do whatever possible to secure their safe release. To date, the identities of the women have not been disclosed.

We are thankful to report that Rev. Polycarp was released the next day, after negotiations were held. However, no further details were available at the time of compiling this report, nor has any other information since been released, concerning the two women who were abducted with him. For additional reports revealing the atrocities committed against Nigeria's Christians, as relayed by many credible international news sources, go to our country report.

Praise God that Rev. Polycarp was released so swiftly and without harm. May the two women who were abducted with him be likewise delivered and safely reunited with their families. Please pray for the protection of other Christians in Nigeria's Plateau State as they faithfully serve the Lord in the midst of persecution. Ask that there will be an outpouring of His healing power and heavenly justice upon all those whose lives have been devastated by the militant violence. May the God of justice, peace, and reconciliation also move powerfully in the hearts and minds of those who vehemently oppose Christ so they will be dramatically transformed into His likeness.

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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