(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)
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

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.

end

Select a Region

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.

  • More Chibok School Hostages Freed!
    A large number of captive girls gathered in front of Boko Haram flags
    Girls abducted from a school in Chibok, Nigeria, during 2014.
    Photo: Screenshot

    Eight years ago, over 200 girls were abducted from a secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria, and held hostage by Boko Haram, a militant Islamic group that is fiercely opposed to what they define as "Western education." Over

    ...
  • Attacks Resulting in Fatalities and Kidnappings
    Nun, facing away, walking accross a porch

    More than 20 Christians lost their lives in attacks that took place recently in Nigeria's Taraba State during the first half of August. In one such incident, the St. Agnes Catholic Church in the village of Dinya was raided on August 14th. At the time of the attack, a spiritual teacher working for th

    ...
  • Gunmen Kill Pastor's Sons and Abduct Daughter
    Sunset with the words, ''Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

    Gunmen broke into the home of Pastor Daniel Umaru in Njairi, Adamawa State, during the early morning hours of July 6th. The results of the attack were devastating to the family. While Pastor Daniel survived the gunshot wound, his two sons were killed during the attack, and his 13-year-old daughter,

    ...