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NIGERIA: Boko Haram Focuses on Christians

NIGERIA: Boko Haram Focuses on Christians

Boko Haram has gained new leadership in Abu Musab al-Barnawi as its new ‘governor’ for West Africa. This information was published in the Islamic State’s Al-Naba magazine, published on 2 August. Additionally, in the published article, Abu Musab al-Barnawi spoke of “booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach, and killing all of those who we find from the citizens of the Cross.”

It has been over two years since Boko Haram entered the main stage of terror in Nigeria. In April 2014, the militant group kidnapped 276, mostly Christian, teenage girls from a boarding school in Chibok; 219 of these girls are still missing.

Boko Haram has continued to wage a war of terror against the people of Nigeria, specifically in the north-eastern region. The group has killed thousands of people, deployed children as suicide bombers, and destroyed the future for countless young women and girls. Last year, the militant group pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State, around the same time that the Nigerian military began its offensive against the group.

Now, they have threatened to specifically target Christians and churches in the African nation after feeling threatened by the “Christianising” of Nigerian society.

Source: International Christian Concern 

Prayer Points

  • Pray the Lord’s protection will be showered on His children in Nigeria who have already suffered so much at the hands of Boko Haram.
  • Pray the Lord will frustrate the evil intentions of Boko Haram and bring their plans to nothing. May He instead bring many to repentance.
  • Thank the Lord for His faithful church in Nigeria; may He continue to add to their number and grow in them a strong desire to follow Him, even during this time of great unrest.

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IRAQ: New Law to Force Children to Become Muslim

IRAQ: New Law to Force Children to Become Muslim

A new law in Iraq would require the conversion of children to Islam if their father were to convert or if their mother were to marry a Muslim man or a Muslim-background Christian.

The long-term implications for this would be devastating as changing identification documents back to Christian is nearly impossible.

This puts even greater strain on the church in Iraq and raises serious questions regarding the basic rights and religious freedoms in the country. The new law would also violate international standards for religious freedom and conscience.

Sources: World, International Christian Concern

Prayer Points

  • Pray the Iraqi president Fuad Masum and his colleagues will reject the newly proposed law.
  • Pray for Christian children in Iraq who are being pressured to convert by the government or their community; pray that they will remain strong in their faith and never deny Christ.
  • Ask the Lord to bring a great Christian revival to Iraq; pray the current uncertainty and great unrest will be used by the Lord for the spiritual good of the Iraqi people.

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NIGERIA: Boko Haram ‘More Deadly Terror Group’ than IS

NIGERIA: Boko Haram ‘More Deadly Terror Group’ than IS

Boko Haram was the world’s deadliest terror group in 2014, ahead of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, according to a report released on 18 November by the Institute of Economics and Peace.

Boko Haram was responsible for 6,664 deaths in 2014, more than any other terrorist group in the world, according to the Global Terrorism Index; it said Islamic State had killed 6,073 people during the same period.

The Index, which tracks attacks globally, also said the Islamic State and Boko Haram were responsible for half of all global deaths attributed to terrorism. Both are known for singling out Christians in their attacks.

With the world’s attention on Paris and the 132 lives lost on 13 November, the radical Islamist group Boko Haram killed 49 people in two attacks in less than 48 hours in northern Nigeria. On 17 November, 34 people lost their lives in a suicide attack in a busy vegetable market in Yola, Adamawa State. Some 80 others were injured.

The following day, 15 people were killed and 53 injured in twin blasts in a popular phone market in Nigeria’s main northern city of Kano. According to local sources, two female suicide bombers detonated their bombs.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who vowed to eradicate the Islamist insurgency, condemned the attacks. He called on Nigerians not to despair, and to renew vigilance in order to reduce the frequency of such attacks.

In recent months, dozens of towns and villages in north-eastern Nigeria, taken over by militants last year, have been liberated by the Nigerian military. But the situation is still volatile as the radical group has intensified suicide attacks both in Nigeria and neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

Source: World Watch Monitor

Prayer Points

  • Ask the Lord to intervene in the suffering of so many; pray He may bring spiritual revival to the nation of Nigeria and, as a result, bring great change.
  • Pray for those who are suffering grief, loss and injury; may they not despair but instead fix their eyes on what is eternal.
  • Ask the Lord to remove the power Boko Haram has over its victims; pray He will bring disunity and dysfunction to the group. Ask God to grant His strength, wisdom and favour to those attempting to bring down Boko Haram.

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