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Advent Prayer - Nigeria

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Advent Prayer - Nigeria

Project(s): 39-970, 39-772

Country/Region: Africa, Nigeria

Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?” Matthew 2:1-2

21-somalia-4x3.jpg
Women survey the damage following
anti-Christian violence in Northern Nigeria in 2011

Recent events in Nigeria have increased the problems faced by Christians in the North and Middle Belt. Christians found themselves on the receiving end of yet more hostility and violence following the re-election of Christian president Goodluck Jonathan in April 2011. Enraged supporters of the defeated Muslim candidate from the North, Muhammadu Buhari, went on the rampage, claiming the poll was rigged, though international observers called this election the fairest in decades. Scores of people were killed in the unrest, but the violence has raged on throughout the year, with Christians and churches coming under sustained attack across the volatile Plateau State. The Islamist militant group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for much of the violence.

Nigeria is a nation divided between a strongly Muslim (about 93%) North and a mainly Christian (about 80%) South. The population of the Middle Belt states is more evenly mixed. Christians in the North have suffered discrimination for many years, with restrictions on church buildings and poor treatment of their children in schools. Elements of sharia have been introduced in twelve Northern states and Christians have to submit to it in certain respects.

Barnabas Fund sent aid to Christians who were affected by the violence in 2011, which saw up to 15,000 people displaced. On 18 April 2011 an entire Christian village in Kaduna State was reduced to ashes by a Muslim mob and its water supply contaminated with pepper, firewood, clothes and other rubbish. Barnabas sent funds to help the residents of the village to rebuild their homes and provide a new borehole for drinking water. A local partner told us that the donations greatly encouraged the recipients and they were glad that “...the body of Christ thought of them and acted in goodwill towards them”.

Pray for the Christians of Plateau State and elsewhere in Nigeria, who are being targeted because of their faith, that the Lord will rescue them and protect them. Lift to the Lord those who have been injured or lost loved ones in anti-Christian violence, and pray that they will be comforted in their grief and be given grace to forgive. Give thanks that despite the violence the Church in Nigeria is dynamic and growing, and pray that the Lord will give them courage and empower them to respond to the attacks in a Christ-like way. Pray for peace between Muslim and Christian communities, and pray that President Jonathan will govern with justice and righteousness.

Barnabas Fund projects in Nigeria include:

This article is taken from

Praying for the Persecuted Church in Advent 2011” -  Download .

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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