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The blood-spattered Bible is a symbol of what it means to be a Christian in northern Nigeria where the Muslim militant group Boko Haram uses bombings and village raids in an attempt to rid the region of Christians.

The Bible was retrieved from the Deeper Life Church in Gombe state after an attack by the Muslim militant group Boko Haram on 5 January 2012. Church leader Chenma Ngwaba was speaking during a Thursday evening prayer meeting when three young extremists suddenly began firing weapons through the church window.

‘They were shooting everybody there,’ said Chenma, who lost his wife and 10-year-old son that night. Chenma’s six-month-old daughter survived, but eight other believers were killed, and more than 20 were injured.

Despite horrific attacks like these, courageous believers at the Gombe church and others throughout Nigeria refuse to give in to fear. ‘Christians are not discouraged,’ said Rev Dr Soja Bewarang, president of the Church of Christ in Nigeria.

‘We believe the Scripture that Jesus told us, that if they persecuted Him they will do the same to us. We are not discouraged, but rather our faith on a daily basis has been increased.’