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Hundreds slaughtered as anti-Christian violence in Nigeria rages on

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Hundreds slaughtered as anti-Christian violence in Nigeria rages on

Project(s): 00-345

Country/Region: Nigeria, Africa

Around 300 Christians killed in one diocese; 27 dead in church attacks

Around 300 Christians have been killed in one diocese alone, and 27 people died in attacks on three church services as anti-Christian violence in Nigeria continues unabated.   

Funeral_Jos_Nigeria_4X3.jpg
Nigerian Christians are being targeted with unrelenting violence

The Rt Rev Timothy Yahaya, Bishop of Jalingo, Taraba State, in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, told Barnabas Aid that 300 Christians have been killed in his diocese in a series of incidents over the last three weeks.

Then on Sunday (29 April), three church services in Northern Nigeria were targeted in attacks that left 27 people dead.

The first happened when people had gathered for worship in two lecture theatres at Bayero University in Kano. So far 22 people are confirmed to have died, while 23 were injured, after bombs were thrown into the building at around 8.30 a.m. and gunmen fired on worshippers. Witnesses said that the offenders first threw in explosives and fired shots, and as Christians fled, the gunmen chased them, firing indiscriminately.

Later on Sunday, gunmen opened fire on another church in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri. Five people, including a pastor, were killed in the attack at the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) building.

War on Christians

Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for Sunday's church attacks, but most people suspect militant Islamist group Boko Haram, which in March declared “war” on Christians.

This statement followed a three-day deadline, issued by the group on New Year’s Day, for Christians to leave the North. Unrelenting attacks have ensued, including the bombing of a number of churches as well as attacks on individual Christians.

Around 40 people were killed in a suicide bombing outside two churches during Easter services in Kaduna.

And two churches in the central Nigerian city of Jos were targeted in the space of two weeks; a pregnant woman and an 18-month-old child were among those killed.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Aid, said:

The simple act of going to church on a Sunday has become a perilous one for Christians in many parts of Nigeria. They very much need our prayers as they courageously continue to gather for worship despite the unrelenting violence.

Give Today

If you would like to help Christians in Nigeria and elsewhere who have been affected by anti-Christian violence, please send your donation to project Victims of Violence Fund (00-345). using our secure server.

If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference Victims of Violence Fund (00-345).

If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of our regional office. Please quote project reference Victims of Violence Fund (00-345).

For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/345 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).

Resources

There is a poster for download to advertise this appeal here and a PowerPoint slide for your church notices is available here.

Please Pray:
  • For all those who have lost loved ones or been injured in the anti-Christian violence in Nigeria this year; pray that the Lord, who “heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3), will comfort them.
  • That the authorities will be able to restrain Boko Haram and others in Nigeria who have evil and destructive intent, and bring the perpetrators of violence to justice. 
  • That the Lord will grant wisdom to Nigerian Christians as they consider how to respond to the violence and practise their faith in such a hostile environment. Pray that they will be protected from further harm.
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    • Almighty God, we call to You for relief for Christians in the Gwoza area of Borno state in Northern Nigeria, as they face repeated violent attacks by Boko Haram militants. We pray for comfort for the relatives and friends of the hundreds who have been killed, and for the thousands who have been forced from their homes and seen them torched. We ask for Your special protection on Christians as they gather to worship You. We pray for the Nigerian authorities to re-establish control of the area, so that the displaced Christians may be safe from further attacks and free to rebuild their shattered communities. We pray too for their persecutors to come to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 5 hours ago

    • “This is a war against Christians and democracy and their constitution. Allah says we should finish them when we get them.” The leader of the Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram was speaking in a video that reasserted their agenda and addressed “the people of the world”, saying, “Either you are with us Mujahedeen or you are with the Christians.” The translation of the video was released as scores of people were killed in suicide bombings in May, including at least 118 in a double attack in Jos, Plateau state on 20 May. Pray that Boko Haram’s murderous campaign to establish an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria will not succeed. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Pray for Bible school students in Vietnam who were subjected to a terrifying night-time raid by police and hired thugs. On 9 June, officers swooped from adjacent rooftops into the church compound that houses the school, while vehicle-loads of people were brought to the site to vandalise the building with bricks, stones and sticks. The students were beaten, punched and kicked before being taken away for interrogation; 20 were left in need of medical attention but were prevented from leaving to find it. Thugs continued to attack the compound over the next ten nights. Pray for the students as they recover from this brutal assault and that they will stand firm in their faith in the face of intimidation. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Aug 2014 00:00

    • In an earlier incident in Saisomboon village, three teenage Christian girls were disqualified from taking their final school examinations because of their faith. The village chief said that in following Christianity, Noi (15), Net (15) and Nut (14) had forfeited their right to education. Five families from the village have now converted to Christianity. A spokesman for Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom expressed the view that the authorities were trying to find every possible way “to stop the spread of Christian religious freedom in the area”. Pray that the girls will be allowed to complete their education and that opposition to the Christians in the village will cease. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Five Christians have been charged with murder in Laos after a sick woman sought prayer at her local church, converted to Christianity and later died. Mrs Chan, from Saisomboon village in Savannakhet province, had been ill for two years when she approached the church. Her health improved for a short time, and she and her eight grown-up children came to faith in Christ. The sons and daughters wanted a Christian burial ceremony, but the authorities forbade this unless they renounced their faith, which they refused to do. When Christians in the area protested, five were arrested and subsequently charged with Mrs Chan’s murder. Pray that the God of justice will have compassion on His people (Isaiah 30:18) and ensure their acquittal from this false accusation. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Aug 2014 00:00

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