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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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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.

VIETNAM: Woman Burned After Refusing to Abandon Christian Faith

VIETNAM: Woman Burned After Refusing to Abandon Christian Faith

A 49-year-old woman was assaulted by local authorities after she refused to give up her Christian faith.

On 5 May, authorities visited Dinh and told her they would help her during the coronavirus pandemic if she would sign a statement giving up her faith. When she refused to sign the document, an official grabbed a kettle of boiling water from her kitchen and poured it all over Dinh’s legs.

Dinh was taken to the hospital, but since her family is very poor, they could not pay for her treatment. She had not been issued health insurance because she is a Christian.

VOM provided help. “I am so happy and thankful to God for your heart of love,” Dinh wrote. “Please remember me in your prayers.”

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Thank the Lord for the example of Dinh, who boldly stood firm despite the threats and subsequent injury.
  • Thank the Lord for the help and treatment she has received and pray she will be fully restored to health.
  • Pray her strong witness may be used by the Lord to embolden the faith of others and soften the hearts of the local authorities.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

INDIA: Church Set on Fire by Suspected Radical Hindu Nationalist

INDIA: Church Set on Fire by Suspected Radical Hindu Nationalist

On Friday night, unknown aggressors set fire to an independent church in the state of Tamil Nadu, southern India.

The fire brought down the entire roof, affected the building structure, furniture, speaker boxes, and amplifier, causing damages estimated around $4,000.

While the reason for the attack is not yet apparent, members of the church suspect radical Hindu nationalists, who have been egregious in that region in the last few years.

According to local sources, on the morning of 13 June, Pastor Ramesh saw the flames and thick smoke coming from the church. By that time, the roof, made of coconut leaves and bamboo, was completely burnt.

“I was shocked for a moment looking at the church engulfed with flames and smoke. I was broken, and it was so painful, there was absolutely no way to save anything from inside the church. The church structure, instruments, and furniture inside the church are ten years of hard labour,” Pastor Ramesh said.

For the last ten years, Pastor Ramesh has led the Real Peach church in Vaylur, Changalpattu district. There are currently 100 members. He believes that this incident was an act of Christian persecution. He has been threatened to stop practising Christianity.

“After I recovered from the shock,” Ramesh said, “I filed a formal complaint with the police, and the police promised that they will carry on the investigation.”

In 2017, in the same district, a pastor was murdered only 8km from where Pastor Ramesh leads the church in Vaylur. “This place has been a difficult place for Christians,” Ramesh said, “and there are numerous instances where the Christians have been facing increased intimidations.”

The state of Tamil Nadu is known for its sizable Christian population despite being ranked two in the national tally of the most hostile states for Christians to live.

Source: International Christian Concern

  • Pray for Pastor Ramesh and the church members as they come to terms with the loss. Pray their willingness to continue to worship will be a witness for the Gospel.
  • Commit to the Lord the investigation and pray for the protection of the Christians in the community.
  • Pray for the perpetrators and all those in the area who oppose the Lord and His people.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

UGANDA: Christian Woman Loses Business and Home to Fire

UGANDA: Christian Woman Loses Business and Home to Fire

Radical Islam’s influence in Uganda has grown by more than 7% in the last three years, and many Christians within the majority Muslim border regions are facing severe persecution, especially those who convert from Islam.

When the restaurant she owned and operated was burned six months after she became a believer, Faridah assumed it had been an accident. But earlier this year, the two rooms she rented in a home were also burned, and neighbours mentioned smelling petrol.

Faridah lost everything she owned and now suspects her relatives were responsible for the fires.

After being abandoned by her husband, Faridah’s relatives had been helping raise her six children. But when she became a Christian, they cursed her and told her she would never have peace as long as she was a Christian. Her landlord is also demanding reimbursement for his loss.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray that God will meet the needs of Faridah and her children.
  • Pray that in spite of the suffering she has endured she will remain strong in her faith and even learn to rely more on the Lord.
  • Ask the Lord to have mercy on Faridah’s relatives and pray they will come to a knowledge of the Gospel.

Post your prayer in the comments below.