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Father praying at breach in the wall - Photo: Morning Star News
Thank God for answered prayer!
Photo: Morning Star News

In the early morning of July 5th, suspected Fulani militants raided the Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna State, abducting more than 120 students (read this report). Since the kidnapping, a few students at a time have managed to escape in various ways.

On July 24th, the kidnappers unexpectedly released 28 of the students, all of whom were thankfully reunited with their families the next day. Even though these united families were overjoyed, we're cognisant of the need to continue interceding for the safe return of the students remaining in captivity. When speaking to members of the press, the president of the Nigerian Baptist Convention called on anyone with information to come forward. In reference to the kidnappers, he implored: "How can we reach these people? What can we do?"

Authorities have attributed the raid to "bandits" looking for ransom. However, many of these types of attacks have directly targeted Christians over the years, adding the element of jihadism as a factor. Additional information on the persecution of Christians in Nigeria, along with access to previously reported incidents, are available at our country report.

Praise God that more students have been recently freed and safely reunited with their families. Continue to pray for the protection of the many students remaining in captivity. Also remember their parents and other family members who are presently trying to cope with the uncertainty and fear of not knowing the whereabouts nor the present status of their missing loved ones. May the students still in captivity, their concerned families and friends, and all who are mediating for them, experience God's abiding comfort and peace while awaiting His divine intervention and rescue.

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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