The governor of the Borno state in north-east Nigeria has revealed that the extremist group Boko Haram is responsible for making tens of thousands of widows and orphans in the state as it continues its reign of terror.
Borno Govenor Babagana Zulum was recently a guest lecturer at the National Defence College. His lecture was attended by senior military officers and policymakers from inside and outside Nigeria. Zulum, a college lecturer who was elected last year as Borno’s governor, did not mince words as he criticized ineffective government leadership for its inadequate response to the insurgency that continues to wreak havoc in his state.
Boko Haram, which began in 2002, has killed and abducted thousands across the Lake Chad region in recent years and has developed a reputation as one of the world’s deadliest terrorist groups. Zulum provided a glimpse into how Boko Haram’s violence has impacted his state. He said Boko Haram is responsible for the creation of 59,311 orphans and 59,123 widows throughout its existence.
Although President Buhari has claimed to have defeated Boko Haram, the group continues to murder and kidnap. Although Boko Haram did not kill as many people in 2019 as the group has in years past, experts warn the decline is due to a change in a tactic by the militant group to focus more on kidnappings.
The Nigerian government has faced international criticism for its failure to protect citizens and thwart Boko Haram’s attacks and abductions.
Source: Christian Post, Australian Prayer Network
- On behalf of those who have suffered loss at the hand of Boko Haram militants in Nigeria and surrounding nations, pray for the Lord’s intervention and ask Him to bring spiritual good out of the pain and grief.
- Ask the Lord to strengthen the resolve of His children to love, serve and follow Him even through great trials and suffering.
- Pray for the authorities in Nigeria for wisdom and action.
The Xingguang Church in Xiamen city meets in a residence because they refuse to join the government-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement. On 3 May, security officers burst into the home while the church was gathered for worship. The Christian men who had been guarding the door were pinned down and worshippers were forcefully dragged out of the home.
Calling the meeting illegal, the officers demanded that church members stop recording with their mobile phones and then confiscated them.
Throughout the proceedings, no warrant was presented. At least three of the Christians were injured and one had to seek medical treatment. Six of the worshippers were detained for several hours before being released that evening. The authorities have issued an order officially banning the church gathering.
Sources: China Aid, Christian Post, International Christian Concern
- Pray that the members of the Xingguang Church will find ways to continue encouraging one another and thus grow stronger in their Christian faith.
- Pray that the members who were hurt will experience the Lord’s healing.
- Pray that the church in China would continue to grow despite the opposition to the Gospel.
Three Christian families from the Akha tribe were expelled from their village recently after refusing to renounce their faith in Christ.
Earlier this year, village authorities called the Christians to a meeting that included members of the Lao Patriotic Front. After accusing the believers of abandoning Akha customs and failing to follow the rules and traditions of the village, authorities told them that if they would not renounce their “Jesus religion” they would have to leave the village.
The Christians told them they would not renounce their faith in Christ, pointing out they had not broken any laws, but wanted to stay in the village. At that point, village leaders loaded the Christians and their belongings onto a truck, drove them to some empty farmland outside the village and left them. The authorities then destroyed the Christians’ homes in the village.
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Ask the Lord to generously provide for these families. Pray He will give them courage, and continue to keep them spiritually strong.
- Pray the Lord will use the unwavering faith of these believers as a witness to the power of the Gospel.
- Pray for the village authorities, that the Lord will reveal Himself to them and that they too will find salvation in Jesus Christ.
A group of Muslim men entered a church in Kala Shah Kaku, Sheikhupura, about 40km from Lahore, shouting that they would set the building on fire and burn the Christians.
According to the pastor, Samuel Hidayat Masih, of the Trinity Pentecostal Church; on the morning of 9 May, Malik Aun Abbas, Ali Shan and several other people, forcefully entered the church and asked the worshippers present there to vacate the land.
They claimed the land belonged to them and started demolishing the church courtyard gate and the boundary wall. They forced their way into the church and desecrated the cross along with other fixtures and threatened everyone present.
Following the incident, community leaders lodged a police complaint at the Ferozwala police station.
Pastor Samuel is still being threatened and he is worried he will be attacked.
Nasir Saeed, Director of Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS-UK) said: “It is sad that attacks on churches continue even during the COVID-19 pandemic, because hatred against Christians continues to rise and the government has no plans at all to protect the religious minorities and their places of worship.”
- Ask God to place a shield of protection around Pastor Samuel, his family and his church.
- Pray the Lord will help Pastor Samuel and the church members to overcome this attack and ongoing threats. Pray for justice and that the Lord will provide them with wisdom to deal with the opposition and the authorities.
- Pray for the church throughout Pakistan, which often faces targeted violence and injustice.
Village leaders tortured a Hmong Christian recently in an attempt to force him and his wife to renounce their new Christian faith.
After the couple refused to abandon their faith in Christ, the villagers hung the man upside down over a fire of spicy chillies. The acrid smoke burned his skin, throat and eyes, until he eventually agreed to renounce his faith.
The couple has since fled to another village where they are able to openly follow Christ.
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Pray the Lord may help this couple overcome the trial they have suffered. May they experience great love and support from their Christian family.
- Thank the Lord the couple now have an opportunity to openly live out their faith. Pray He will use them as a strong witness for the Gospel.
- Ask God to continue overseeing the growth of His church in Vietnam, calling even those who oppose the Gospel.
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