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Rev. Johnson Oladimeji - Photo: Morning Star News www.morningstarnews.org
Rev. Johnson Oladimeji,
killed in Ekiti state, Nigeria.
Photo: Morning Star News

On the morning of November 1st, armed Islamic militants associated with the Boko Haram terrorist group invaded the village of Takulashi. With the use of automatic weapons, they shot everyone in sight -- burning and looting homes during the rampage. When the militants left the area two hours later, 12 members of the primarily Christian village were found dead, including a church pastor. The attackers also took three women and four children hostage.

The village where the massacre took place is only ten miles from Chibok, where 276 young students were kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014. (A previously posted report on this situation is available here.)

In another incident, which took place in the southwest state of Ekiti, suspected Fulani herdsmen killed Rev. Johnson Oladimeji as he was travelling home on November 26th. When his wife was unable to reach him on the phone, family members began searching for him. He was found the next day in his car along the side of the highway. Allegedly, the assailants were waiting in the bush and shot at his vehicle as he drove by.

Two days later, in Kaduna state, militant Fulani herdsmen raided two predominantly Christian villages. Seven Christians were killed in the attacks; and two children, named Rebecca and Clement, were kidnapped.

In many areas of Nigeria and several other African nations, Fulani Islamic militants have terrorized communities. While some of the attacks were committed with the intent of plunder, in many cases, Christians have been targeted because of their faith. These repeated acts of militancy have led to the stigmatization of the Fulani people as a whole.

In an interview with World Watch Monitor, a pastor in Burkina Faso, who himself is from the Fulani tribe, admitted that "there is not a very good view" of his people. However, he went on to explain that "not all Fulani are terrorists and not all terrorists are Fulani. We, the Fulani, are also the image of God and one first needs to see that." Pastor Adama (not his real name for security reasons) has been reaching out to his own people with the Gospel of peace. To read more about his encouraging testimony, go to this site.

Please remember to pray for God's strength and protection to be upon "Pastor Adama" and all the other believers in West Africa who are faithfully proclaiming the message of Christ -- "the Prince of Peace" -- essentially, the world's only true source of peace. Intercede for the victims who have been kidnapped, asking that they too will be sheltered from harm and safely released. Also uphold the families of those who have suffered and died in these recent attacks. In the depths of their loss, may they draw closer to God who promises to be "near to the brokenhearted" (Psalm 34:18). Pray that there will be a miraculous resolution to these ongoing human rights violations, for none of Nigeria's challenges are greater than our Almighty God.

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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