Nigeria - Believers praying and worshipping - Photo: VOMC

Nigeria

Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, is sharply divided along religious lines with a Muslim-dominated north and a majority-Christian south. There are more than 80 million professing Christians in Africa's most populous nation, the fruit of both pioneer mission work and the return of freed slaves who carried the Gospel with them to the African continent following the abolition of slavery in England during 1833. Foreign missionary activity in the Muslim majority north has declined significantly over the past ten years as a result of the emergence of the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram. Although the militants appear to have weakened in the northeast, it is believed they are the source of increasing attacks on Christian villages by a group of militant Fulani herdsmen, a tribe known for its adherence to strict Islam.

Life for Christians:

Nearly all Christians in northeastern Nigeria have lost family members due to the violence perpetrated by the terrorist groups. Entire congregations have been displaced, and many pastors have been forced to leave the region. Being active in the church looks much different than it did 15 years ago. Today, it takes great courage and faith to openly worship and serve Christ. Thousands of Christians remain in camps designated for internally displaced people. With few schools able to operate because of the violence, families are concerned about their children's education. Life is a constant struggle and, in some places, it's even difficult to find food.

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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Nigeria News

  • 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

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  • 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

    ...