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Nigerian Christians undeterred by violent attacks on churches

Country/Region: Africa, Nigeria

Christians in Northern Nigeria are refusing to let the threat of attack keep them away from Sunday services as security is stepped up after a spate of deadly bombings.

Going to church on a Sunday has become a highly dangerous activity for Nigerian Christians, who are being targeted by suspected Boko Haram militants. The Islamist group in March declared “war” on Christians, and since then a number of church attacks have left dozens dead.

Church-of-Christ-in-Nigeria_Attacks_4X3.jpg
Bombers are targeting
churches in Nigeria
Image source: Stefanos foundation

Christians have been calling for more protection from the authorities, who have been struggling to get to grips with the Boko Haram menace.

In light of the attacks, courageous volunteer security guards are stopping vehicles at the entrance to church compounds and checking them for weapons and explosives. During services, they patrol the grounds, while armed police sit outside, keeping watch. It is hoped that such measures will deter those intent on causing harm.

The Rev. Emmanuel Daudu, a pastor in Kaduna, where churches were targeted at Easter in a blast that left around 40 people dead, said: 

We don’t fear but we are security-conscious, because we don’t have to be relaxing and our enemies to take us unawares. We have to be alert always, because we don’t know their plans against us or against the church.

Nigerian Christians are undeterred by the risk of violent attack. Amako Laraba, a mother-of-two, who attends Mr Daudu’s church, said:

The Bible teaches me that we should have faith in God. This is our town. This is our home. This is where we should worship so we feel very free.

At this time of threat and tension, church services there are characterised by joyful singing, rousing preaching and focused prayer, as worshippers insist they will continue gathering despite the danger.

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

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    • Give thanks that two small Christian communities in Niger have received livestock from Barnabas Aid to help them become self-sufficient. The Christians also received three days of training to learn how to take care of the animals. The predominantly Muslim region where these communities are located has endured more than a decade of food insecurity. Pray that the livestock will prosper, so that the Christians will be able to sell them at a good price and will become financially independent. Pray also that growing tensions between Muslims and Christians in Niger will not adversely affect them. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 6 hours ago

    • 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 Tue, Sep 2014 00:00

    • “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

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