Faraz Badar, a 26-year old Christian resident of Gujranwala, died in a Lahore hospital on 15 September. He succumbed to burn injuries that he received when unidentified attackers sprayed acid on him during the early hours of 5 September in Gujranwala. Faraz was brought to Meo Hospital in Lahore when his condition deteriorated.
The incident unfolded as Faraz was returning from his workplace. He was on his way home, when he was intercepted by two men riding a motorcycle. His entire body was burnt.
The attack appears a result of religion-based dislike. Social media reports claim that the attack comes as a result of extreme emotional hatred due to his Christian faith. It is being speculated that he was disliked, because his colleagues did not like being working under the authority of a Christian.
Badar Masih, Faraz’s father said that, “Faraz was a young graduate and serving as Assistant Admin Officer in a local hospital for about two years. On 5th September at around 2am, when he was going home from the hospital, some unknown assailants sprayed acid upon him.” This is not the first time Faraz has been attacked.
Masih continued, “A few months back, Faraz was beaten by some men who were covering their faces. However, we did not report it to the police, as Christians are often not heard in police stations.”
Faraz’s mother shared that “Faraz often complained that some of his Muslim staff members were unhappy with his excellent performance and they disliked Faraz for his honesty and Christian background.” While she admitted that they had no evidence of the allegations, it is not an uncommon occurrence.
While reflecting on her son’s life, Faraz’s mother added “My son was running my kitchen. He was very gentle to everyone in the vicinity. He had no enmity. He was an active member of the church. However, he was usually not given a day off to go to church for Sunday prayer service.”
Masih claimed, “My son was targeted for his Christian faith. I don’t think we, the Christians, are safe in Pakistan. However, it is our country and we love it with our soul and spirit. We won’t seek refuge.”
“We [still] want justice from the government,” pleaded the mother.
Sources: International Christian Concern, Christians in Pakistan
- Ask the Lord to comfort the family of Faraz Badar as they come to terms with this tragedy.
- Pray they will be filled with a peace that passes all understanding and a joy that comes from knowing they will see Faraz again at the coming of the Lord Jesus.
- Pray for justice for this family. Commit to the Lord the perpetrators.
Yesterday we received an urgent email from our partners in Nigeria reporting a new wave of brazen attacks by Fulani Herdsmen.
Our team reports that they visited displaced people from eight predominantly Christian villages near Bokkos. Over 200 houses were burnt to the ground. They report that over 50 are feared dead from these villages. The displaced are sheltering in churches at Bokkos town.
At the same time Fulani have attacked villages again in the Miango area where 54 died in Sep/Oct 2017. Yesterday they did a mass burial for 19 more victims. New telegraph has reported that 23 persons have been confirmed killed in a fresh suspected Fulani herdsmen attack on 12 March in Dundu Village of Miango District of Bassa LGC of Plateau State. The Plateau State Police Public Relations Officer DSP Mathias Terna confirmed the killings last night, but he was quick to Inform New Telegraph that he was waiting for more details about the attack from officers who had gone to the scene of the incident.
Our partners report that there are approximately 5,000 or 6,000 displaced persons. There are numerous camps, sheltering in different churches. One camp has over 800 children. There are many medical needs. Many are in bad physical shape. They have no food. Every day the men go out to see what food they can find. They have lost their homes, their crops, their livelihoods. It is not clear yet how many dead.
The coming days are critical to provide food, medicine and Bibles. Voice of the Martyrs Australia has committed to assist by sending emergency funds immediately. We will continue to help provide for the physical and spiritual needs of our persecuted brothers and sisters in Nigeria for as long as necessary.
Sources: Voice of the Martyrs Australia, New Telegraph
After a period of relative calm, the Far North region of Cameroon, along the Nigerian border, has witnessed an upsurge of attacks by Boko Haram.
On 17 August, a church elder was killed in a night raid carried out by the radical Islamist group on Moskota village. Adamu Nguda, formerly a church elder in Mouldougwa, was displaced to live as an internally displaced person (IDP) to Moskota. His killers also kidnapped his six children ─ between the ages of three and 15. His wife was left behind in a state of total shock.
In a separate attack the same day, attackers also burned the house of Lazare Mahama, another Christian. They stole his wallet containing money and ID documents. The attackers also burned an undetermined number of properties.
Earlier on 6 August, eight children were killed in a suicide attack in Amchide. The suicide bomber, a young child, met the children while they played outside in the evening ─ then detonated his bombs. According to a local church leader, all eight children had attended Sunday school of the Union of Evangelical Churches (UEEC) in Amchide.
The recent attacks have reignited fear in local Christians; some have begun to flee their homes.
Eighty-three children have been used as bombers since 1 January, according to UNICEF: 55 girls, mostly under 15 years old, and 27 boys. One was a baby strapped to a girl. Nineteen children were used in 2016.
Source: World Watch Monitor
- Ask the Lord to intervene to release the victims and return them to their families. Pray the reign of violence will end.
- Ask for the Lord’s protection to be on people throughout Cameroon and Nigeria.
- Pray the Lord will dramatically be at work, permanently changing the hearts of Boko Haram members.
At least three men were beheaded and several houses torched on 18 August during an early morning raid on a village on the northern coast of Kenya by members of the Somali Islamist terror group, al-Shabaab.
The gunmen reportedly struck Maleli Village in Lamu County at around 12.30am on 18 August, targeting men but sparing women and children. While villagers put the number killed in the raid at four, a local official has informed Kenyan media that three people died.
Similar overnight raids were perpetrated by al-Shabaab on 7 July on Jima and Pandanguo villages, located near Maleli, in which nine men were beheaded. According to survivors, the militants only targeted non-Muslim men. Some villagers also claimed they had informed police that al-Shabaab were in the area, but no action had been taken. These attacks occurred a matter of days after three police officers were killed in another nearby village.
A dusk to dawn curfew that was imposed in Lamu, Garissa and Tana River counties following the attacks on 7 July will now be in place for the next three months. Security forces are reported to be pursuing the assailants, who are believed to have hideouts and training grounds in the dense Boni Forest, which extends to the Somali border, and from where al-Shabaab has launched attacks into the three counties.
Al-Shabaab is reported to have set up permanent training bases in the Boni forest in mid-2012. Although their area is now surrounded by three army bases, according to a member of the local community, the group continues to cause “untold suffering” and is “having a field day inside the forest without any fear of the soldiers and the police”.
Since May, the terrorist group has ramped up attacks on Kenya. Over 50 people have been killed in ambushes or by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Garissa, Mandera, and Lamu, with many more injured. Several have also been abducted.
Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide
- Commit to the Lord the grieving families of those who were slain. Ask God to help them during their time of suffering. May they feel the Lord’s ministering presence and be comforted.
- Pray for the police, military and all those in authority who are trying to protect civilians, liberate captives and stop the violence.
- Pray for the members of al-Shabbab, may the Lord have mercy on them. Ask the Holy Spirit to be at work, replacing hearts of stone with hearts of flesh; bringing true conviction, repentance and salvation.
The devastating news of numerous attacks on the Christian communities in the district of Karua, Southern Kaduna on 13 November 2016 has left a certain numbness among those who survived the onslaught. It is believed Fulani herdsmen were responsible, with most of their victims being the elderly, women and children who could not escape the attackers’ gunfire and bombs.
First-hand reports from survivors stated, “They went on a rampage killing people, setting houses ablaze, burning all food in the houses and killing all of the domestic animals. Some of the villagers who were able to escape alerted their people attending the harvest and also alerted security personnel. Before the coming of the security these heartless people ran into the bush. They were not to be found.”
The number of people killed in the villages was 47. In total 98 houses and several churches were burned down, leaving nothing behind.
It is believed that 520 people were affected by this tragedy and in need of urgent assistance. VOM Australia and their international partners raised emergency funds that were immediately sent so the rebuilding could begin.
Our team handled the logistics of distributing life packs to the victims which included Bibles, mattresses, roofing iron, grain, instant noodles and medical treatment.
An infant girl whose mother had died during the attack, was severely burned when gunpowder was thrown on her body. The team took her to hospital and doctors said she nearly lost her life. We thank God she has now been discharged. Pray for the many persecuted Christians who have suffered greatly through this atrocity.