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Rev. Silas Yakubu Ali - Photo: Facebook / Maureen Tabat
Rev. Silas Yakubu Ali
Photo: Facebook

On Saturday, September 11th, Rev. Silas Yakubu Ali left his home in the Zangon Kataf area of Kaduna, Nigeria, and set off for the town of Kafanchan, but was not heard from again. Early the next morning, a search party found his body, which was inflicted with bullet and machete wounds, less than a kilometre from his home.

While the assailants and motives for Rev. Ali's murder have not yet been identified, thousands of Christians have been killed in Nigeria by Islamist militants. At least 11 other Christians were killed on September 12th in a separate attack on the village of Apyizhime Jim, including two pregnant women. According to one witness, the total number of victims from the subsequent attack has not been determined to date, since many others from the village remain missing. Of those identified, ten belonged to another church overseen by Rev. Ali, along with one member of a local Catholic church. It has been verified that the second attack was carried out by Fulani herdsmen.

In response to Rev. Ali's murder, the governor of Kaduna State publicly expressed his condolences to the family and church members, then made an appeal for calm. He also called for intensified security efforts to apprehend the "perpetrators of the heinous killing." For more on the difficulties facing Nigeria's Christians, go to our country report.

Prayerfully remember the families and friends who are mourning the loss of their loved ones as a result of these recent attacks. Pray that those responsible for the crimes will be located and held accountable. Please also uphold Nigeria's governmental forces, asking the Lord to help them intensify their efforts to stop the ongoing violence so Christians can freely practise their faith. May the believers in this country be demonstrators of God's peace and grace in the wake of these malicious acts of persecution, drawing many others to faith in Christ through their fine Christian witness.

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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Nigeria News

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