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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.

This most recent assault came less than a week after a similar attack took place on a church in the town of Kasuwan Magani in Kaduna State during the night of September 12th and the early morning hours of the 13th. That attack also took place while believers were holding an all-night prayer vigil. At least 57 worshippers were kidnapped, though there are reports that as many as 14 may have since escaped.

Nigerian security agencies have recently been celebrating progress in the long-lasting battle against rebel groups. However, Rev. Joseph Hayab from the Christian Association of Nigeria warns against the government's hasty celebrations. "Let us not jump and be making statements on victory too early," he states. "Let us continue doing the best we can do in carrying out this war until victory is assured, because the enemies of the people and the enemies of the state are still strategizing to cause pains." To read additional reports on the persecution of Christians in Nigeria, go to our country report.

Prayerfully uphold the members of these recently attacked churches, as well as the many other believers throughout Nigeria who are under the constant threat of attack by militant groups. Pray that our kidnapped brothers and sisters in Christ will soon be released unharmed and that, in the interim, they will experience God's protection and providential care as they await deliverance from captivity. May followers of Jesus throughout this African nation be greatly strengthened and encouraged in the midst of the uncertainty and loss they've experienced due to the militants' seemingly incessant violence against the church.

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 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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