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

  • Multiple Attacks on Christian Villages
    Rubble of a home
    A burned home in Kagoro, Kaduna State.
    Photo: Gideon Agwom Mutum via Morning Star News

    The Nigerian state of Kaduna experienced multiple attacks on predominantly Christian villages between March 17th and March 24th. Due to the nature of these recent attacks, the exact number of victims is not yet cl

    ...