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Leviticus Makpa and son - Photo: Facebook
Leviticus Makpa and son
Photo: Facebook

Leviticus Makpa, 39, served as a pastor and church planter in Niger State, Nigeria. On May 21st, he sent a text message to an associate, Folashade Obidiya Obadan, stating that Fulani herdsmen had surrounded his house and mission compound. The next day, Folashade learned that Pastor Leviticus, along with his toddler son, Godsend, had both been tragically shot and killed. The pastor's wife and daughter managed to escape. A funeral for the two slain family members was held on May 23rd.

According to another associate, Samuel Solomon, this was not the first threatening encounter posed to Pastor Leviticus by the Fulani militants. During a previous attack, the pastor hid in a cave until the bandits left; yet the incident didn't deter him from continuing in ministry. "How many of us can do this?" asked Samuel in his tribute to the slain pastor. "He knew his life was at stake, but [the] burden for souls wouldn't let him run away from the [mission] field."

According to Open Doors' World Watch List, more Christians were killed for their faith in Nigeria last year than any other country. The West African nation also led the world in the total number of kidnapped Christians. For more information on the extreme dangers facing Christians in Nigeria, go to our country report.

Pray for peace and strength on behalf of Pastor Leviticus' wife and daughter. May those around them embrace these grieving loved ones with the compassion and care that comes from the "God of all comfort" (2 Corinthians 1:3). Continue to pray for peace, stability and safety throughout the nation, asking God to grant the authorities the ability and willingness to rein in terrorist groups like the militant Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram.

Current Ministry Projects

Through a vast variety of projects, VOMC works with in-country partners to encourage and strengthen Nigerian Christians who have experienced extreme forms of persecution. Christian widows receive trauma counselling to help them heal from the aftermath of tragically losing their husbands due to persecution-related attacks. These widows are also provided skills training so they can have a practical means of income to support their families. Children who have lost their parents and other relatives during incidents of persecution are provided a safe place in which to grow and be nurtured. Medical fees are paid for Christians who have suffered serious injuries perpetrated by militants affiliated with Nigeria’s Boko Haram and Fulani groups. Discipleship and vocational training are being offered to Muslim-background believers to help them start their new lives spiritually and practically.

The ministry also gives persecuted Christians who are completing their master's degrees – and have a desire to share the Gospel in their communities – the opportunity to benefit as recipients of the Glenn Penner Scholarship Award. Another one of VOMC’s projects in Nigeria involves the distribution of food aid to persecuted Christians residing within Internal Displacement Persons' (IDP) camps. Through this distribution effort, displaced believers who have been forced to flee their homes and communities because of their faith not only receive daily sustenance but also the encouragement that’s needed to rebuild their lives.

Project Funds: Women’s Ministry, Bibles (Distribution), Medical, Families of Martyrs, Equipping the Saints, Relief & Development

Country Information

Population
219,463,862 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Hausa (30), Yoruba (15.5), Igbo (15.2), Fulani (6), Tiv (2.4), Kanuri/Beriberi (2.4), Ibibio (1.8), Izaw/Izon (1.8), Other (24.7)

Religion (%)
Islam (53.5), Christianity (45.9), Other (0.6)

Leader
President Muhammadu Buhari (2015)

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

  • Dozens Kidnapped from Two Church Services
    A church service in Nigeria
    A Nigerian church service.
    Photo: Flickr / SIM USA (cc)

    Suspected Fulani herdsmen stormed a church in Suleja, Niger State, in the early morning of September 17th. Several of the church members who had gathered for an all-night prayer vigil were kidnapped, along with the pastor.