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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.

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NIGERIA: Middle Belt Christians Endure Perpetual Violence

NIGERIA: Middle Belt Christians Endure Perpetual Violence

Radical Fulani militants have killed multiple Christians in Nigeria’s Plateau and Kaduna states. Among the victims was a six-year-old Christian boy.

On 23 September, over 100 Fulani militants attacked Christian villagers in their fields in Jol village, severely injuring nine men with machetes. A few hours later, a mother and her son suffered fatal injuries by militant machetes in neighbouring Sopp village.

On 28 September, in the Miango district, Fulani militants attacked three children; the youngest was six-year-old Emmanuel David. Four days before, the militants also killed five men, including a church leader from the Church of Christ in National (COCIN).

COCIN reported a surge in planned attacks, coordinated by predominantly radical Fulani herdsmen. Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds.

Sources: International Christian Concern, Morning Star News

  • Ask the Lord to intervene and bring an end to the violence, protect the believers and bring many Fulani to a saving knowledge of Him.
  • Ask the Lord to walk with the believers during this time of ongoing unrest, tragedy and mourning.
  • Pray the deaths of so many will not be in vain but the Lord would bring spiritual blessing to this nation.

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NIGERIA: Children in Crisis Care

NIGERIA: Children in Crisis Care

Nigeria is sharply divided along religious lines with a Muslim dominated north and a majority-Christian south.

Fulani herdsmen, a tribe known for its adherence to strict Islam have attacked Christian villages for many years, and in the last two years they have committed more acts of extreme violence against Christians than any other group globally. In recent months there have been brutal attacks on villages in southern Kaduna State, north-west Nigeria. The attacks are led by rogue Fulani with sophisticated weapons from further north recruiting local disgruntled young Fulani men and boys who see no hope for their future.

In recent months there have been brutal attacks on villages in southern Kaduna State, north-west Nigeria. The attacks are led by rogue Fulani with sophisticated weapons from further north recruiting local disgruntled young Fulani men and boys who see no hope for their future.

VOM Australia’s ministry partner in Nigeria has been asked to help care for and educate some of the children affected. With this recent influx they are now caring for almost 300 children.

All of the recent arrivals are displaced, homeless with their families’ property destroyed, this year’s crops gone, tools, animals, household goods gone, without access to the land from which their families gain their livelihood.

All of the children have lost one or both parents in the conflict. Four of the group have old gunshot wounds from previous attacks, with significant damage to their small, frail bodies.

Sources: Christian Faith Ministries, The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray the authorities will take further action to deal with religious violence in addition to conflicts resulting from tribalism, territorial expansion and desperate poverty.
  • Pray for the pastors trying to bring comfort to their people who have suffered and who are fearful. Pray too for those taking great risks in sharing the Gospel with the Fulani.
  • Pray for our ministry partner as they care for these severely traumatised children.

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NIGERIA: Mass Killing during Curfew

NIGERIA: Mass Killing during Curfew

Armed Fulani attacked five villages during a 24-hour curfew in a predominantly Christian area in Nigeria’s Kaduna state.

While police said Fulani gunmen killed 21 villagers, local community leaders put the death toll at as many as 33. Dozens of homes were destroyed.

The attacks took place in the Atyap Chiefdom in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area last Wednesday and Thursday. Armed men travelling in trucks killed six people and burned 20 homes in Apiashyim village and killed seven people in Kibori village.

Locals reported the attack while it was still going on in Apiashyim, but personnel arrived only after the attack was over, a survivor told local media.

The Fulani men then attacked the Atakmawei community, killing 12 people and burning down 10 homes. Later, they killed three people in Apyiako village and five in Magamiya village, burning down several houses in both locations.

A truck resembling an armoured military vehicle and military motorcycles drove into the Apyiako village square while the attack was underway, but no attempt was made to stop the destruction, according to survivors.

Fulani herders routinely attack predominantly Christian farming communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt. While some believe the nomadic herders launch attacks as they look for grazing pastures, the radicals are known for targeting Christian villages in a similar manner as the Boko Haram terror group.

Sources: Christian Solidarity Worldwide, AFP, The Christian Post

  • Ask for God’s intervention in the midst of this turmoil and for His presence to provide comfort and provision for those who are suffering.
  • Intercede for Nigerian believers who are under the threat of these attacks. Pray against any kind of retaliation.
  • Pray for those taking great risks in sharing the Gospel with the Fulani and for others involved in peace building initiatives between the communities.

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NIGERIA: Reports of “Unfolding Genocide”

NIGERIA: Reports of “Unfolding Genocide”

For several years, suffering has been a way of life for Christians in Nigeria. In 2010, the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened a preliminary examination into this troubling situation which was formerly caused by the violence of Boko Haram militants.

Thousands of lives have been lost throughout the years that have followed, along with the destruction of numerous homes and churches, and the abduction of hundreds of innocent victims.

As horrific as the crimes perpetrated by Boko Haram have been, this terrorist group has been eclipsed in recent years by Fulani militia groups. While the exact death toll is unknown, Christian leaders claim that over 6,000 believers have been maimed or killed — many of them vulnerable children, women and the aged.

On 15 June, the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief released a report titled, Nigeria: Unfolding Genocide? The document outlines the fact that thousands of innocent lives have been lost and multiple homes destroyed, concerns that have prompted the organisation to call on the involvement of the international community. This call includes providing humanitarian assistance for those who are suffering, a response from the international community, and proactive action taken by the Nigerian government.

British representatives have also taken their concerns to the ICC earlier this year, asking for further investigation.

The response of the Nigerian government to allegations referencing its passivity over the horrendous atrocities committed by the country’s militants has been dismissive. President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson refers to a “misleading campaign” with “false allegations of persecution of Christians.” Such an apathetic response leads to another concern, questioning potential bias on the part of the president, the son of a Fulani chief.

Sources: Forbes, Christian Post

  • Intercede for Nigeria’s Christians who are facing these ongoing campaigns of violence from various opposing sources.
  • Pray that the government will act responsibly on behalf of these innocent victims by making efforts to halt the violence, protect communities and bring the perpetrators to justice.
  • Pray that action from the international community will foster positive change for the sake of the Nigerian people.

Post your prayer in the comments below.