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NIGERIA: Militants in Nigeria Kill More than 1,900 People in 2020

NIGERIA: Militants in Nigeria Kill More than 1,900 People in 2020

Every year, hundreds of people are killed in violent events throughout Nigeria. This has been true since Boko Haram became one of the deadliest groups in the world in 2014 and 2015. Despite the government continuing to fight against Boko Haram, the terrorist group, as well as Fulani militants, bandits, and other violent groups, have been able to cause mass devastation throughout the country.

More than 1,900 civilians and government personnel were killed by Boko Haram and Fulani militants. This number does not include the hundreds of militants killed or the hundreds of civilians killed by unidentified bandit groups.

Nearly all Christians in north-eastern Nigeria have lost family members in attacks by Boko Haram or Islamic Fulani militants. Entire congregations have been displaced, and many pastors have been forced to leave the region.

Boko Haram and Fulani militants often target Christian majority communities for attack, and this was again true in 2020. Boko Haram on numerous occasions attacked the villages around Chibok which are mainly Christian, as well as multiple villages throughout Adamawa state including Garkida, also predominately Christian.

Fulani militants in Kaduna, Plateau, Benue, and Adamawa States also attacked majority Christian farming communities on a regular basis. This group claimed the lives of more civilians and Christians than Boko Haram did in 2020.

Sources: International Christian Concern, The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Ask God to give state and national authorities wisdom and firm resolve to end the violence, protect vulnerable communities and care for the displaced.
  • Pray for the perpetrators. Ask God to frustrate their plans for evil and be at work to bring many to conviction, repentance and salvation.
  • Pray that during the midst of great suffering, the Lord will bring blessing to those who have suffered so much.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

Nigeria: Testimony

Nigeria: Testimony

“My name is Mashingil Philemon of Rugu community, Gashish, Barkin Ladi LGA, Plateau State, Nigeria. I am married and have four children. I was a successful farmer.

“On 23 June 2018, I was sitting with my friend; we were talking with one another. Suddenly we heard gunshots, so we ran into the community to see what was happening. The sight of Fulani men killing our people greeted us. We all began to run, seeking refuge. I ran with one of my friends into a room. We did not know that the Fulani men had seen us. They started shooting into the room where we hid. As they shot at us, they shouted (in Arabic), ‘Allah is great.’ We cried out and they said they had come to kill us.

“The room was locked, and we heard loud sounds like people trying to break the wall. They stopped and soon after we could smell petrol. They set fire to the house. The fire was intense, and my friend said he would go out. I said to him that I would rather die in the fire than go out for those men to kill me. We stayed in the room even as the fire grew more intense and began to burn us. We screamed in pain then lay very still on the floor, pretending to be dead.

“After the fire died down, the men came in and checked us. They must have thought we were dead as they soon left.

“Hours later, when the raid was over, we came out of hiding. We were both badly burned. At first, we thought we were the only ones left alive, but we soon found other survivors. No one wanted to take us to the hospital as they feared encountering the Fulani men. My brother decided to take me to the next village for medical help. It was a long journey.

“I have had many surgeries for my burns and I still need more.”

VOM partners have provided medical help and other necessities to Mashingil, his family and the community.

“I am truly grateful to them for coming to the aid of my people. It has really given me hope and I know that we are not forgotten. The medical aid has provided me with the opportunity to once again be reviewed by doctors. I could not afford to go to the hospital for follow-up. My family is grateful for the food aid. We have been short of food for a long time.

“We pray that God gives you the means to extend this help to other areas of northern Nigeria.”

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EGYPT: Riots Follow Blasphemy Accusation

EGYPT: Riots Follow Blasphemy Accusation

Egypt’s Minya Governorate region erupted in violence on 25 November after rumours spread that a young, barely literate Christian man named Girgis Sameeh posted a message on Facebook that was considered insulting to Islam.

In al-Barsha, Girgis’ hometown, hundreds of Muslims attacked the homes of Coptic Christians, also looting and destroying local businesses. The fury of the mob spread to the church of Abou Sefin, where the congregation was celebrating the beginning of a fast for the Advent season.

Thankfully, there were only a few reported injuries. Due to the intervention of a concerned Muslim neighbour, the family of Girgis received protection from the rioters. Following the skirmish, police arrested about a hundred Muslims and Christians, detaining those from both sides to avoid accusations of bias. At last report, 20 Muslims and ten Christians face two weeks’ detention for questioning.

In retaliation to the lockdowns imposed to stop further riots, some Muslim villagers resorted to burning farm buildings used for cattle and feed, as well as boycotting businesses owned by Christians.

Such violent outbursts are not uncommon in Egypt and are often based on rumours. Girgis’ brother cannot believe that he would do such a thing, saying, “That’s not how he was taught to behave.”

Sources: Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin, Mission Network News, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Watani

  • Ask God to provide His peace to this troubled Egyptian community. May the Christians of this region walk in obedience to God’s Word, serving as examples of His love.
  • Pray for wisdom for the local authorities and protection for Girgis and other innocent civilians caught up in the unrest.
  • Uphold those who are now without homes or businesses, and experiencing numerous hardships as a result. Ask the Lord to bless them with needed provision and restoration.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

NIGERIA: Christians Targeted in Islamic Militant Attacks

NIGERIA: Christians Targeted in Islamic Militant Attacks

On the morning of 1 November, armed Islamic militants associated with the Boko Haram terrorist group invaded the village of Takulashi. With the use of automatic weapons, they shot everyone in sight — burning and looting homes during the rampage. When the militants left the area two hours later, 12 members of the primarily Christian village were found dead, including a church pastor. The attackers also took three women and four children hostage.

The village where the massacre took place is only 15 km from Chibok, where 276 young students were kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014.

In another incident, which took place in the southwest state of Ekiti, suspected Fulani herdsmen killed Rev Johnson Oladimeji as he was travelling home on 26 November. When his wife was unable to reach him on the phone, family members began searching for him. He was found the next day in his car along the side of the highway. Allegedly, the assailants were waiting in the bush and shot at his vehicle as he drove by.

Two days later, in Kaduna state, militant Fulani herdsmen raided two predominantly Christian villages. Seven Christians were killed in the attacks; and two children, named Rebecca and Clement, were kidnapped.

In many areas of Nigeria and several other African nations, Fulani Islamic militants have terrorised communities. While some of the attacks were committed with the intent of plunder, in many cases, Christians have been targeted because of their faith. These repeated acts of militancy have led to the stigmatisation of the Fulani people as a whole.

Sources: Release International, Morning Star News, Sahara Reports

  • Intercede for the victims who have been kidnapped, asking that they too will be sheltered from harm and safely released. Uphold the families of those who have suffered and died in these recent attacks.
  • Pray for God’s strength and protection to be upon all those who are faithfully proclaiming the message of salvation through Jesus Christ to the Fulani people.
  • Pray that there will be a miraculous resolution to these ongoing human rights violations.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

UGANDA: Pastor and Two Christian Boys Slain

UGANDA: Pastor and Two Christian Boys Slain

Pastor Wilson Niwamanya and his 12-year-old son were on their way home to Kabale on 21 November when they were stopped by Islamic militants.

They were returning after delivering Christian literature along the Democratic Republic of Congo border when four men stepped out of the bush and forced them to stop the motorcycles they were riding. Grabbing Pastor Wilson, one of the assailants declared, “This man must die for disrespecting our religion.”

The perpetrators began to beat the pastor on the head with blunt objects and then stabbed his son, Simon Peter, fleeing the crime scene when other motorcyclists approached. Simon Peter died at the scene, whereas Pastor Wilson succumbed to his injuries a few days later. Another Christian worker who was with them escaped with injuries to his hand. According to his wife, Pastor Wilson had received text messages prior to the incident, warning him to stop distributing literature that allegedly discredits Islam.

In a separate incident, relatives killed the six-year-old son of a former Islamic sheikh after he refused to renounce his faith in Christ. The Muslim relatives met at the home of Emmanuel Hamuzah on 23 November and, for two hours, tried to convince him to return to Islam. Later that evening, Emmanuel was outside his home with his son when five relatives reappeared. When Emmanuel once more refused to recant, they began to beat him; while others stepped on his son’s neck, causing suffocation to the child. The attackers fled when neighbours came to help, but the injured boy died before he could obtain medical attention.

While Muslims in Uganda are a minority, there are large concentrations in some areas. Some groups have become increasingly aggressive, particularly towards those who have left Islam.

Source: Morning Star News

  • Ask the God of love and mercy to embrace Pastor Wilson’s wife and surviving children, as they endure this time of grief and loss. Ask the Lord to bring physical and emotional healing to the worker who witnessed the event and suffered injury.
  • Prayerfully intercede for Emmanuel, his wife and their three other children, as they mourn the horrific death of their child.
  • Pray that those who instigated these attacks will come to understand that same eternal hope which can only be found in the light and love of Christ.

Post your prayer in the comments below.