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A congregation in Nigeria leaving a church building - Photo: World Watch Monitor
Believers gather for worship despite the constant dangers they face.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

At least one worshipper was killed and 60 kidnapped after gunmen raided the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Kakau Daji village, Kaduna, on October 31st. The church members had gathered for worship when the attackers suddenly entered the building and opened fire. An uncertain number of Christians were also injured in the attack. Upon fleeing the building, dozens were taken captive by the assailants.

Speaking of the attack, Rev. Joseph Hayab, the chairman of the Kaduna chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, referred to this latest incident as "another sad story" in which no one knows who the next target will be. While lamenting the rise of violent attacks in the nation, he remarked, "Citizens are being killed like chickens with only press statements as consolation."

Many Nigerians have called on the government to declare those responsible for the recurrent attacks across the country as "terrorists." However, government leaders have rejected this appeal, arguing that there is a need to follow due process. Such inaction has led to calls for the authorities to "separate war against enemies of Nigerians from politics." For more reports addressing the suffering of Christians in Nigeria, go to our country report.

Please pray that God will greatly comfort our Nigerian brothers and sisters in Christ who are mourning the loss of their dear loved one due to this recent attack, heal and strengthen those who have been injured, and provide protection and courage to those who were kidnapped. May Nigeria's governing leaders and security forces take proactive steps against the ongoing crisis, bringing an end to the violence that's plaguing the country. In the meantime, prayerfully uphold all Christians throughout the nation, asking the Lord to use them as instruments of His love and peace as they seek to spread the light of Christ amid the darkness of terrorism.

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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