Islamic anti-Christian rioting erupted in Niger’s second largest city, Zinder, on Friday 16 January, spreading quickly to the capital, Niamey. It continued into the next day as Muslims protested ‘blasphemous’ Charlie Hebdo (a French satirical magazine).
Numerous Christian homes, schools and colleges were burnt, as was the SIM compound in Gourd, the Good Samaritan Orphanage run by the Assemblies of God, as well as upward of 70 churches. The bodies of at least five Christians were later found in various burnt-out churches.
Though the population is 97% Muslim and 0.33% Christian, Niger is officially a secular state with religious freedom. However, fundamentalist Islam is growing. Such extreme, targeted violence is hitherto atypical and has left the Christian community shattered.
Source: Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin
- Ask the Lord to minister His great love to those who have lost loved ones, may they cling to their eternal hope in Christ.
- Ask God to provide for the many who have lost homes, churches, schools etc; ask Him to help them overcome their ordeal and be spurred on to continue in the faith.
- Pray the Lord will strengthen and guide those in authority in Niger, to continue to uphold religious freedom and protect its citizens from Islamic violence