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.
Al-Shabaab militants have led a series of attacks in Kenya’s Lamu County. Between 5 and 8 July, militants raided three villages, Pandanguo, Jima, and Poromoko, killing three police officers as well as seven Christian men: Said Mbigo, Matei Mlatia, Peter Mburu, Teresio Munyi, Mwangangi Muneni, Katana Karisa Chai, and Musyoka Maithya.
On 5 July, over 200 militants raided Pandanguo village in Lamu County, killing three police officers posted at the Pandanguo police station, looting homes and the local dispensary. On 8 July, 15 of the militants returned and attacked the nearby villages of Jima and Poromoko.
According to locals, the militants went door to door in Jima and Poromoko, killing seven Christian men.
Schools in the three villages were closed and Christian families have evacuated to a church in Witu town.
“The attackers have been targeting Christians living in Lamu County especially farmers in the interior areas where small-scale agriculture thrives”, Pastor Henry Divayo, head pastor of the church in Witu town, told International Christian Concern.
“[The militants in Jima] were asking the villagers to produce their identification cards and if you were found to be a Christian you would be shot or slaughtered”.
“Victims have been evacuated to camps where food and security is provided by [the] government and the Kenya Red Cross”, Divayo said. “We are hosting more than 200 people in our church and we expect the number to increase as more families are evacuated from Boni Forest”.
“The government has been in the forefront in giving security to churches but a lot more needs to be done”, Divayo continued. “We need more well-equipped police officers in churches, schools and hospitals”.
Since 2011, Kenya has been aiding the fight against al-Shabaab in Somalia. In retaliation, al-Shabaab and its supporters have targeted Christians across the border in Kenya. On 5 July 2014, al-Shabaab attacked a Hindi village in Lamu which left nine dead. Militants also attacked Garrisa University on 2 April 2015, where 148 Christian students were killed. On 12 June 2016, the Islamic terrorists attacked Mpeketoni, Lamu County, killing 48 who couldn’t recite Koranic verses.
Source: International Christian Concern
- Commit to the Lord the families of the police officers and the Christian men who lost their lives. Pray the Lord’s ministering Spirit will bring strength, comfort and provision.
- Pray those who have had to flee their homes will be able to return soon in safety.
- Pray this recent tragedy will be used by the Lord to spread His message of salvation throughout Kenya and beyond.
Messianic believers in southern Israel have been the target of a violent protest over a new meeting centre that’s just opened in Dimona.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews caused a disturbance outside the new Messianic meeting place last Thursday – then took their protest out into the community, attacking believers’ homes.
Those behind the attacks last week are thought to be linked with the anti-missionary organisation, Yad L’Achim. After protesting outside the Messianic centre, they attacked the home of the leaders Albert and Esther Knoester and that of another member of the congregation, breaking windows and causing other damage. There were children in both houses at the time, and they were said to be extremely frightened.
Attacks on Messianic congregations in Israel are common: the one in Arad town reportedly suffers harassment almost daily, and several church buildings have been attacked in recent years.
Sources: Middle East Concern, Release International
- Please pray that our almighty God will comfort and strengthen Messianic believers in Dimona and across Israel. Pray that they will know He will protect them ‘in the day of trouble’ (Psalm 27:5).
- Ask God for wisdom for Albert and Esther and for other families in their congregation: pray they will continue to witness to their community, despite opposition.
- Pray that Israeli officials will deal effectively with those responsible for these incidents, for the sake of religious tolerance in their nation.