A mob of Muslim radicals attacked two churches in Niger’s third largest city on 13 June following an imam’s inflammatory message.
The protestors burned an Assemblies of God church in the Zaria neighbourhood, along with the pastor’s car, as well as the Life to the Full Christian Church.
The imam in Zaria had denounced a new government bill on the exercise of worship, saying it was against Islam, though he later said he had misunderstood the bill.
Police arrested 178 rioters following the attacks. No one was injured in the attacks, but the Assemblies of God church was completely destroyed. “Please pray for the Christians in Niger”, a VOM contact said. “Many are afraid.”
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Ask the Lord to uphold the Christian community. Pray the Lord will take away their fear.
- Pray the church members will not give up meeting together. Ask the Lord to use this incident to unify and strengthen the church.
- Pray for the imam and the rioters. Ask God to have mercy on them, soften their hearts and bring them to repentance.
Post your prayer for Niger in the comments below.
Approximately 100 Christians were massacred by Muslim terrorists in the West African nation of Mali last month.
On 9 June, armed Fulani Muslim militants invaded a predominately Christian village in Sobame Da, and killed men, women, and children. Officials say they found at least 95 bodies. The attackers also killed animals and set fire to houses.
“About 50 heavily armed men arrived on motorbikes and pickups,” a survivor named Amadou Togo said. “They first surrounded the village and then attacked – anyone who tried to escape was killed.” A security source at the scene said that the village “had been virtually wiped out.”
No terror group claimed responsibility for the massacre. It has been reported that, every person who died was a Christian.
West Africa is home to some of the most brutal attacks against Christians in recent years that have claimed thousands of lives. Mali was thrown into unrest after Islamic jihadists took over the country in 2012. The violence became so severe the entire Malian government resigned in April.
Sources: Open Doors, BBC, AFP, CBN News
- Ask God to pour out His Spirit of love, order and calm over these communities. Pray for safety and protection.
- Ask God to intervene and bring the persecutors to justice.
- Pray that God’s grace and mercy would be at work in this tragedy.
Post your prayer in the comments below.
It took a horrific attack on her church for Emily to realise that her understanding of God was wrong. Three years ago, her bishop asked her to move to a new church plant near Mombasa, Kenya. The Joy in Jesus Church in Likoni was struggling, and the bishop thought Emily could help. Over the next several months, the church grew to 60 people.
On Sunday morning, 23 March, 2014, most of the faithful were scattered throughout the pews. Assistant Pastor Philip Ambesta was speaking that morning, and Emily was in the front row. In the middle of his sermon, there was a loud bang outside and heads turned to look, but Pastor Philip told everyone, “Ignore what is going on outside these walls and listen to what God has to say to you.” He continued to preach.
Moments later, two gunmen burst through the back door. One, armed with a machine gun, sprayed the congregation with bullets. From her seat at the front, Emily turned and saw the other gunman aim a hand gun straight at the platform. He fired, and Pastor Philip fell, dead.
It was chaos. The gunmen fled, everyone was screaming and people were running everywhere. Emily moved among the members, reassuring them and offering first aid. She also made sure ambulance and police were called. The ambulance couldn’t carry all the injured, so Emily helped them prioritise which victims needed the most urgent help.
Six people died that day, including Pastor Philip. Twenty-four others were injured, and VOM has helped four of the most severely injured with their ongoing medical care for the past two years. Emily herself wasn’t injured, but she was left with deep scars on her soul.
She struggled to understand why God would have allowed the church to be attacked. She believed that God must have been punishing them for their sin. Discouraged, Emily returned to her home church in Mombasa.
But she continued to read God’s Word. As she did, she realised God wasn’t punishing them. In the Bible, she read how Jesus promised His followers they would be persecuted for His sake. She saw that sin compels evil men to commit evil acts, especially against those who follow the God in whom there is no darkness. She realised that God’s promises to work for our good and to bless us meant not financial good, but spiritual good. Persecution is a promise, not a punishment.
Today, Emily describes the Gospel as a “bitter Gospel.” She says, “I teach the bitter Gospel of the cross and the blood. You have to accept taking up the cross.”
Petr Jasek, a former hospital administrator from Czech Republic, is currently being tried in Khartoum, Sudan, on charges of “crimes against national security.” If convicted of the charges, Mr Jasek, along with two Sudanese pastors and another Sudanese man being tried on the same charges, could face the death penalty.
Mr Jasek has a 20-year background in the medical field, including 10 years as a hospital administrator. This experience and training uniquely qualified him to serve suffering people in places like Sudan. Mr Jasek has assisted VOM on different occasions to provide care to persecuted Christians in Sudan and Nigeria, including medical care for Christians attacked by Boko Haram.
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Please pray for Mr Jasek, along with his co-accused, as their trial continues. Pray for favour with court officials, for justice in their trial and that all four men will be freed and allowed to return to their families.
- Pray that God will continue to protect and sustain these men who have been unjustly imprisoned for more than nine months.
- Pray for the wives and children of these men. Pray that God’s peace will reign in their hearts during this difficult time.
Authorities in south-eastern Sudan arrested the headmaster of a Christian school last week and took over its property, sources said.
Armed police and officials from the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on 5 September arrested the Reverend Samuel Suliman and 12 teachers at the school in Madani, capital of Al Jazirah state. The Christians were accused of supporting the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North, a rebel group fighting government forces farther south in the Nuba Mountains state of South Kordofan.
Suliman and the other staff were held for eight hours before being released on bail.
“Over the past days, we have experienced difficult times in the school,” Suliman said, asking for prayer.
The school serves more than 1,000 students, ages 3 to 18, in Madani.
Source: Morning Star News
- Please pray for Suliman and his teaching team, that no charges will be brought against them.
- Pray that the school property will be returned so that its pupils can resume their education.
- Pray for God’s peace and protection over all His people in Sudan as President Omar al-Bashir’s government continues to put pressure on all non-Muslims.