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. 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 master's degrees and have a heart to share the Gospel with the lost in their community. Food aid is also provided to persecuted Christians living in IDP camps throughout Nigeria as an opportunity to encourage them and help them rebuild their lives.

Project Funds: Women’s Ministry, Bibles, VOM Medical, Families of Martyrs, Equipping the Saints, Relief and Development

Country Information

Population
203,452,505 (July 2018 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Hausa (27.4), Igbo (14.1), Yoruba (13.9), Fulani (6.3), Tiv (2.2), Ibibio (2.2), Izaw/Izon (2), Kanuri/Beriberi (1.7), Igala (1), Other (28.9)

Religion (%)
Islam (51.8), Christianity (46.9), Traditionalist (0.9), Unspecified (0.5)

Leader
President Muhammadu Buhari

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

  • High School Students Kidnapped
    Parent praying - Photo: Morning Star News www.morningstarnews.org
    A father prays for students at a breach in the school’s wall.
    Photo: Morning Star News

    Shooting wildly, armed assailants breached the walls of Bethel Baptist High School in the early morning of July 5th. More than 100, and possibly as many as 164, students at this boarding school in Maraban Rido (lo

    ...
  • Pastor and Young Son Killed by Fulani Herdsmen
    Leviticus Makpa and son - Photo: Facebook
    Leviticus Makpa and son
    Photo: Facebook

    Leviticus Makpa, 39, served as a pastor and church planter in Niger State, Nigeria. On May 21st, he sent a text message to an associate, Folashade Obidiya Obadan, stating that Fulani herdsmen had surrounded his house and mission compound. The next day, Folasha

    ...
  • Abducted Leah Sharibu Recently Turned 18
    Leah Sharibu
    Leah Sharibu

    Leah Sharibu, who has been held captive by Islamic jihadists from the Boko Haram terrorist group for more than three years after refusing to renounce her Christian faith, turned 18 years old on May 14th. Standing in solidarity with her, Christians around the world have continued to call

    ...
  • Numerous Attacks Lead to Killings and Kidnappings
    Afiniki Bako and Grace Zugwai Nkut - Photo: Facebook / Fellowship Of Christian Nurses Nigeria
    Abducted Christian nurses
    Afiniki and Grace.
    Photo: Facebook

    One person was killed, another wounded, and four women were abducted, when the Haske Baptist Church in Manini village, Nigeria, was attacked during a worship service on April 25th. Healthcare worker Zacharia Dogon Yaro was killed, and Shehu

    ...