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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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UGANDA: Christian Convert Killed

UGANDA: Christian Convert Killed

Yusuf Kintu, a 41-year-old former Imam of Macca Mosque in Dolwe Island, Mayuge District was killed on 7 December by a Muslim mob. Yusuf had converted to Christianity a week before he was attacked.

According to Pastor Andrew Nyanma of the Full Gospel Church Dolwe, Yusuf had put his faith in Christ on 30 November after hearing the Gospel message.

“We had been talking on several occasions but he was so argumentative when we touched on matters related to faith. He was a brilliant Muslim Imam but also respected other people’s faith. On this day, he was calm and receptive. He gave me humble time to explain to him why Christ is the only way to the Father. He repented of his sins and committed to following Christ.” Pastor Andrew said.

Three days after Yusuf was saved, his wife Hashfa divorced him. She left with two of their young children to her father’s home in Bugiri District, leaving behind the two older children, Abudkriim 19, and Sauda 16.

According to several witnesses, the local Muslim community was upset with Yusuf for leaving Islam and becoming a Christian. Yusuf was severely beaten and was left unconscious. Pastor Andrew took him to the hospital, where he later died.

Islam’s influence has increased in the majority Christian nation in the past few years. Many Christians within the majority Muslim border regions are facing severe persecution, especially those who convert from Islam.

Sources: International Christian Concern, The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Ask the Lord to bring good from this tragedy. That Yusuf’s witness for the Gospel will live on and bear fruit.
  • Pray for the protection of Pastor Andrew and ask God to bless his ministry.
  • Pray for Yusuf’s family, that the Lord will minister to them as they come to terms with their loss.

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PAKISTAN: Muslim Supervisors Kill Two Christian Women

PAKISTAN: Muslim Supervisors Kill Two Christian Women

Police in Lahore recovered the bodies of two Christian sisters whose Muslim supervisors pressured them to convert to Islam before killing them.

Mushtaq Masih said that police informed him on 4 January that officers had found the decomposed bodies of his 28-year-old wife, Sajida Mushtaq, and her sister, Abida Qaiser, bound and bundled into sacks in an area drainage ditch. Sajida, a mother of four, and Abida, mother of one, had been missing since 26 November.

“After she went missing, one of my relatives shared with us that Sajida had confided in her that her supervisors, Muhammad Mumtaz and Naeem Butt, used to pressure her and Abida to convert to Islam and marry them,” Masih said.

Sajida and Abida began working at a pharmaceutical factory more than two years ago. The sisters had gone shopping on the evening in November and when they did not return home, Masih and other relatives registered a First Information Report at the Kahna Nau police station after searching for them.

The investigating officer of the case, Iftikhar Hussain, said that officers took Mumtaz and Butt into custody after relatives of the sisters informed them that the supervisors had pressured the women to convert to Islam and marry them.

“During interrogation, Naeem confessed that they had abducted the sisters, and after keeping them hostage for a few days for satisfying their lust, had slit their throats and thrown their bodies into the drain,” Hussain said.

Masih said that his family was shattered when police informed them about the recovery of the bodies, whose hands and feet were bound.

Masih and other relatives were asked to confirm the identity of the badly decomposed bodies.

Sources: Morning Star News, CLAAS

  • Pray for this family, traumatised by the loss of their loved ones in shocking and violent circumstances.
  • Pray for justice for the family and for others who have suffered similar targeted violence.
  • Pray the authorities and the Pakistani government will do more to protect vulnerable minorities.

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PAKISTAN: Displaced Christian Families Return Home Under Police Protection

PAKISTAN: Displaced Christian Families Return Home Under Police Protection

Hundreds of Christian families have returned to their homes in Pakistan after threats of mob violence forced them to flee last month.

On 27 December, hundreds of Christian families fled the Charar neighbourhood of Lahore after a local pastor’s faith-based social media post was deemed offensive by Muslims.

“Pastor Raja Waris published a faith-based post on Facebook on 22 December which Muslims claimed hurt their religious sentiments,” Saleem Khokhar, a Christian from Charar said.

“The pastor apologised for the post and the issue was resolved the next day.”

Even though the issue was resolved, a mob of hundreds of Muslims began protesting against the Christians of Charar. According to locals, the mob demanded that Pastor Waris be beheaded for publishing the offending post.

“The situation turned dangerous when someone found out the Muslims were planning to set fire to the houses of Christians,” Khokhar reported. “This forced the Christians to flee the neighbourhood.”

On 28 December, Pastor Waris was handed over to police custody, where he remains.

Police have been deployed to Charar to keep any protest from turning violent. The police presence so far has been able to keep the peace and many of the Christian families that fled have returned to their homes. Rumours of mob violence remain, but police authorities have assured local Christians that they will protect the community.

Sources: International Christian Concern, Christian Post

  • Pray for the protection of Pastor Waris, his family and the community.
  • Ask the Lord to strengthen and uphold Pastor Waris as he endures this difficult and uncertain time.
  • Pray that the apology will be sufficient. Ask for Pastor Waris’s release.

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NIGERIA: Islamists Execute Five Christians

NIGERIA: Islamists Execute Five Christians

Islamist militants executed five Christians in Nigeria over Christmas. In a video of the killing, they declare: “This is a warning to Christians in all parts of the world and those in Nigeria.”

The terrorist group Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility for the killings. ISWAP is a splinter group of Boko Haram, which has pledged to turn Nigeria into an Islamist state.

The five executed are believed to have been among 11 kidnapped on Christmas Day in northeast Nigeria. Their executioners filmed them kneeling with their hands tied behind them.

Before they shot them dead from behind they asked them to state their names.

The men gave their names as Uka Joseph, Sunday, Wilson, Joshua Maidugu and Garba Yusuf.

Their last words were: “I am a Christian.”

Sources: Release International, Morningstar News

  • Pray earnestly for the believers who have suffered so much in the last few years as a result of this unrelenting violence from Islamic groups. Ask God to bring good from this tragedy. Pray for the other kidnap victims.
  • Pray against any kind of retaliation from Christian communities. Ask God to enable believers to encourage each other with powerful words of forgiveness and love.
  • Ask God to use the witness of His children to powerfully work to change the hearts and minds of those who have opposed Him and His church.

Post your prayer in the comments below.