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

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Daily prayer

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  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 5 hours ago

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Condemned Christian mother Aasia Bibi’s final appeal hearing is scheduled to take place tomorrow (14 April) having been deferred twice. She was sentenced to death for blasphemy in November 2010 having been falsely accused of insulting Muhammad following an argument with Muslim co-workers. Aasia has been languishing in jail since the accusation was made in June 2009. Pray that her appeal will finally go ahead and that the judges will have the courage to acquit and release Aasia; there are concerns that they may give in to pressure from hardline Islamists who have been calling for her execution. Pray that Aasia, her husband and children will know the Lord’s peace as they await the verdict. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

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