Nineteen-year-old Urbi Izegbe committed her life to Christ in Autumn 2022, after a revival meeting in her village. Her family was not happy with her decision and responded by insulting her, threatening her, and even withholding food from her. Her father also forbade her from attending church. Despite the hardships Urbi faced, she decided that her relationship with Christ was the most important thing in her life, so she continued participating in church services and activities.
On 11 August, when she returned home from a church meeting, her father attacked her and tried to kill her using a broken bottle as a weapon. He viciously slashed at her and severely lacerated her face. Urbi escaped with the help of several women and is now in hiding. Front-line workers and the local church are working to provide for her needs.
Benin is a small country bordering western Nigeria. It is the birthplace of voodoo, and Christianity is viewed by many in the north as a threat to their traditional beliefs. Every village and many homes in the north have a designated place for animal sacrifice (and sometimes human sacrifice). Voodoo is an official religion, and Voodoo Day is a public holiday. Witchcraft is deeply ingrained in the local culture and is openly practised. Christianity is considered a foreign religion that steals a community’s youth from being properly initiated into the local tribes. Every village chief serves as both a political leader and a voodoo priest.