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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 the church was kidnapped by the perpetrators. According to the parish priest, Rev. Lawrence Awua, the assailants entered the building at around 10 p.m. and began shooting sporadically. The church's teacher, Gidion Tsehemba, heard the noise and came to investigate, which led to his abduction.

In a separate incident, four Catholic nuns were on their way to mass in Imo State on August 21st when they were seized by gunmen. The motive behind the kidnapping of the nuns is unknown. Then, in yet another occurrence, which took place during the previous week, a Catholic priest and a seminarian were taken hostage while travelling. Thankfully, both of these believers were released two days later.

While there have also been kidnappings of Nigerians representative of the general population, numerous incidents have taken place specifically targeting Christian leaders of different denominations. The upsurge of such incidents during recent months has often been perpetrated by militants seeking ransom. To cope with this alarming trend, the military in northwest Nigeria reportedly began an air offensive against armed groups responsible for kidnappings in the area. For more information on the numerous challenges facing Christians in Nigeria, go to our country report.

Please intercede on behalf of the civilians who have been taken captive by the armed groups, specifically praying for God's intervention and protection over their lives. Also prayerfully uphold the family members and friends of these kidnapped victims who need His peace and strength as they await news of a hopeful rescue. In addition, remember those who are mourning the loss of loved ones due to the recent attacks, praying that they will be comforted by the wonderful ministry of the Holy Spirit and the surety of God's eternal promises. As Nigeria's military and governmental officials endeavour to protect the country's innocent civilians, and seek humanitarian ways to prevent further attacks from taking place, may they receive God's wisdom and guidance in the process.

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

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)

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (2023)

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

  • Two Nigerian States Face a Spate of Violent Attacks
    A group of women laughing together while holding their children.
    Women and children at Mara's House (screenshot).
    Photo: 100 Huntley Street

    Recent attacks by militants in Nigeria have resulted in dozens of deaths, along with kidnappings and the destruction of homes. Many Christians were targeted in these repeated violent attacks, often the result of their perpetr