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Rev. Johnson Jauro - Photo: VOMC
Pray for a continued heart of worship among persecuted Nigerians.

Churches in the northern Nigerian state of Zamfara have received threatening letters that warn of violence if they do not stop meeting for worship and permanently close their facilities. Along with threats of imminent attacks, the letters issued an ultimatum demanding that churches in the state close within the next three years. It is believed that these threatening messages were sent from an Islamic militant group, though no specific details have been made available. The letters were copied to police and security forces.

The threats targeting the Christian community in Zamfara State are considered to be credible. In response, a special police squad has been created to patrol the church properties and protect the worshippers. Additionally, Christians have been instructed to intensify security measures in all places of worship, along with pastors' homes and other church-owned facilities. The Christian Association of Nigeria in Zamfara State has directed all their churches to discontinue any worship activities after 5 p.m. for the next three months.

One Christian leader in the area has spread the warning to believers in other northern Nigerian states as well. As indicated in a previously posted prayer alert report, a similar letter of threat was sent to Christians in Plateau State late October (see read more ).

Prayerfully uphold all the Christians who are being affected by these recent threats – whether in Zamfara State or other areas of Nigeria. May the Lord provide these believers inner peace and protection during such times of uncertainty. Ask Him to also be with the officials assigned to the special police squad, as they investigate the identity of the potential attackers – directing them to the very militants responsible for sending the threatening letters so further violence can be prevented. May God's continued comfort and strength rest on the many Nigerians who have lost dear loved ones in recent years due to targeted attacks of persecution.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC works with in-country partners to encourage and strengthen persecuted Christians through a variety of methods. Christians are equipped with audio bibles to distribute to their persecutors. 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 Masters and have a heart to share the Gospel with the lost in their community.

Project Funds: Women’s Ministry, Bibles, Medical Fund, 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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