Suspected Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists in Nigeria have killed six pastors and kidnapped 27 Christians of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in the past seven months, according to an ECWA report.
Among the 27 Christians kidnapped were six pastors, including Pastor Moses Dikko Usman, who was abducted in Kaduna State on 25 July.
James Saleh, a coordinator of ECWA’s Evangelical Missionary Society (EMS), reported that among the six pastors slain was the Rev Ezra Shamaki, an ECWA missionary killed on 21 June in the Kurmin Musa area of Kaduna State.
“Ask God to comfort the family of the late Rev Ezra Shamaki, who was shot dead by terrorists,” Saleh said. “The terrorists kidnapped his wife, and they are yet to make any contact.”
Mac Philips, another EMS coordinator, said that 15 other women and five men were also abducted in the 21 June attack.
“At about 7am, one of our missionaries was leading a prayer meeting when herdsmen stormed the village, killing and destroying anything in sight,” Philips said. “The armed terrorists stormed the prayer house, met them praying and opened fire on the missionary.
“The herdsmen then abducted all the women in the church, and many other men and women in the community, and left. Continue to pray for God’s protection upon our missionaries who are constantly in the line of fire, yet they have remained courageous to continue serving Him in various mission fields.”
Philips said pastors Nehemiah Ezekiel, Isma Dogari, Bulus Bayi and Yakubu Waziri were killed for their faith this year. On 5 July, terrorists also killed the Rev Adamu Buba in Iburu, Kaduna State, Philips added. Pastor Buba leaves behind a wife and seven children.
“To preach the gospel for us is to die, to be safe is to stop preaching the gospel,” Philips told Morning Star News. “It’s a choice we all have to make – for us, we choose the former.
“The gospel in Nigeria cannot be preached without casualties. Our lives are increasingly on the line, but nothing compares to the excellency of sharing the gospel to a dying world without Christ.”
Northern Nigeria is engulfed in terrorist attacks by Muslim extremists who invade predominantly Christian communities, he said.
“While we mourn every day for these tragedies, we remain resolute with our weapons of love and peace, knowing that the battle before us is a mopped-up operation – because of the resurrection, we have won,” Philips said.
“Many of our mission fields across the region are increasingly facing threats of attacks from terrorist herders/bandits and kidnap syndicates who continue to terrorise residents,” Saleh added. “As the security situation in the country continues to deteriorate, our missionaries are increasingly facing grave danger.”
Source: Morning Star News
- Pray for the safe return of abducted Christians, including Pastor Moses and the wife of Rev Ezra.
- Pray for the protection of ECWA missionaries who risk their lives to make the gospel known.
- Pray for comfort over the families mourning the loss of their loved ones.