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NIGERIA: Christians Targeted in Islamic Militant Attacks

NIGERIA: Christians Targeted in Islamic Militant Attacks

On the morning of 1 November, armed Islamic militants associated with the Boko Haram terrorist group invaded the village of Takulashi. With the use of automatic weapons, they shot everyone in sight — burning and looting homes during the rampage. When the militants left the area two hours later, 12 members of the primarily Christian village were found dead, including a church pastor. The attackers also took three women and four children hostage.

The village where the massacre took place is only 15 km from Chibok, where 276 young students were kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014.

In another incident, which took place in the southwest state of Ekiti, suspected Fulani herdsmen killed Rev Johnson Oladimeji as he was travelling home on 26 November. When his wife was unable to reach him on the phone, family members began searching for him. He was found the next day in his car along the side of the highway. Allegedly, the assailants were waiting in the bush and shot at his vehicle as he drove by.

Two days later, in Kaduna state, militant Fulani herdsmen raided two predominantly Christian villages. Seven Christians were killed in the attacks; and two children, named Rebecca and Clement, were kidnapped.

In many areas of Nigeria and several other African nations, Fulani Islamic militants have terrorised communities. While some of the attacks were committed with the intent of plunder, in many cases, Christians have been targeted because of their faith. These repeated acts of militancy have led to the stigmatisation of the Fulani people as a whole.

Sources: Release International, Morning Star News, Sahara Reports

  • Intercede for the victims who have been kidnapped, asking that they too will be sheltered from harm and safely released. Uphold the families of those who have suffered and died in these recent attacks.
  • Pray for God’s strength and protection to be upon all those who are faithfully proclaiming the message of salvation through Jesus Christ to the Fulani people.
  • Pray that there will be a miraculous resolution to these ongoing human rights violations.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

PAKISTAN: Father of Kidnap Victim told by Police to be happy for his Daughter’s Conversion to Islam

PAKISTAN: Father of Kidnap Victim told by Police to be happy for his Daughter’s Conversion to Islam

Farah Shaheen, 12, of Gulistan Colony, Faisalabad, was kidnapped, forcefully converted to Islam and married to a 45-year-old Muslim kidnapper, Khizar Hayat, in June.

Farah, who lost her mother five years ago is the second among six siblings.

According to Farah’s father Asif Masih, Khizar took Farah to a nearby mosque and announced that a 12-year-old Christian girl who has now converted to Islam is married to him.

Asif went to the police but rather than receiving help from the authorities Asif was rebuked, dismissed and threatened.

Asif said, “I went to the local police station several times but it was no use. I pleaded with them to bring my daughter back but they refused to take any action against the kidnapper.” One policeman told Asif to forget about his daughter and be happy because she has converted to Islam.

On another occasion, the police threatened Asif, saying that if he ever went retuned to the police station, they would register a blasphemy case against him and he would have to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Protests by Faisalabad’s Christian community finally forced the police to produce Farah in the magistrate’s court. Farah said in her statement that she had married Khizar of her own free will. But Farah had already been in the kidnapper’s custody for months by then and has likely been threatened.

The court completely ignored the fact that Farah is visibly a minor and allowed her to be returned to her abductor.

Asif calls the attitude of the police humiliating and the court’s decision biased as both favoured the kidnapper, because he is Christian.

Asif’s neighbour, Jamal Haider, confirms Asif’s allegations. He said, “Once I accompanied Asif to a village near Hafizabad to meet the young Farah. It broke my heart to see such a little girl forcefully married to such an old man. How can the magistrate allow such an incident to take place?”

Source: Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement

  • Ask the Lord for His powerful intervention in this case. Ask for His favour on behalf of Farah, Asif and the Christian community.
  • Pray for the Lord’s protection over Farah’s mind and body. Pray against any evil action against her.
  • Pray those in higher positions within Pakistan’s government will intervene in this case to seek justice, and work against bias and ineptitude within the police.

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NIGERIA: Boko Haram Kills 12 Christians, Kidnaps Others

NIGERIA: Boko Haram Kills 12 Christians, Kidnaps Others

Militants believed to part of the original Boko Haram sect under the leadership of Abubakar Shekau attacked Takulashi village near Chibok. The attack took place on 1 November, when six-gun trucks filled with insurgents entered the village and started shooting. They killed 12 Christians during the attack and were able to escape, kidnapping multiple women and children. They also burned down many homes and businesses.

According to Rev Zakariya Musa of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria, EYN), 9 of the 12 people killed were members of his church. One of the other three was a pastor of the local COCIN church. The final two were vigilantes trying to protect their community members.

This attack is one of the many that Boko Haram has conducted against Christians and their communities across Northern Nigeria. Over the past decade, Boko Haram is believed to have killed more than 50,000 people and displaced millions of others. Many of those killed and displaced have been Christians. The EYN church has lost many of its members. According to reports released by the church leadership, as many as 20,000 members have been killed since 2009.

Source: International Christian Concern

  • Pray for comfort for the grieving families, healing for the wounded.
  • Pray for peace to cover Nigeria, Lord heal this nation and protect your children.
  • Pray that out of all this destruction and loss of life, our God will turn it around for His Glory.

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EGYPT: Christian Woman Kidnapped, Converted

EGYPT: Christian Woman Kidnapped, Converted

An Egyptian Christian woman, Rania Abd al-Meseh, was kidnapped on 23 April by two veiled women in Monufia Governorate. A video began circulating three days later of Rania announcing that she has converted to Islam.

The video has been met with alarm by several Christians, who observe that her body language during the video appears that she is under great stress and saying the words under duress.

Rania is the mother of three daughters and her social media accounts show frequent posting of Christian material. Her brother Remon told local media that, “My sister was wearing the cross necklace and left home. If she was wanting to convert to Islam, she would have left the necklace at home.”

Christian women are often kidnapped in Egypt by extremists who force them to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men. It is difficult to bring these women home – should their return be facilitated – and resume life as before because of the regional honour-shame culture.

In some cases, Christian women do indeed convert and marry Muslim men of their own free will, oftentimes further complicating these problems. Many impacted families do not feel the police seriously investigate these kidnappings nor hold the abductors accountable. The police often credit it to a misunderstanding or situation created by the woman’s own free will.

Source: International Christian Concern

  • Pray the Lord will strengthen, uphold and protect Rania and her family. May the truth of the situation be brought to light.
  • Pray for justice for women kidnapped in Egypt and ask that the Lord will bring a cultural change to allow victims of this crime to be treated with care, respect and sympathy.
  • Pray for the protection of women across Egypt. Pray the authorities will do more to uphold the rights of the vulnerable.

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BANGLADESH: Rohingya Christians Attacked

BANGLADESH: Rohingya Christians Attacked

A pastor and his daughter were among those abducted during a large-scale attack targeting Rohingya Christians in a refugee camp. According to local partners, kidnappers forced the girl to marry an older Muslim man. Several other families reported kidnappings as well.

The attack, which occurred in the Kutapalong, the world’s largest refugee camp, left 12 Christians wounded. The Christians were refugees from Myanmar who came to Bangladesh in 2007.

These families were actively involved in ministry within the camp and have faced significant opposition due to their Christian faith and testimony.

A similar attack happened in May 2019 by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army who claim to be fighting for the liberation of the Rohingya. Local police insist that the ARSA is not involved and have downplayed the number of injured.

Since the attack, as many as 170 Christians have been moved to a segregated ‘transit camp’ for their protection. Some of the kidnapped believers are still missing. There are reports stating that one man has been promised release if he converts to Islam. The son of another kidnapped man has asked fellow Christians to please pray that the victims remain brave.

Sources: VOM Canada, Mission Network News

  • Ask the Lord to provide safety for all concerned, while granting them courage in the face of violent opposition.
  • Remember each of the abducted victims, including the girl has been forced into marriage. May they be rescued from captivity and any further victimisation.
  • Ask God to soften the hearts of the perpetrators, so they will come to sincere repentance and salvation in Christ.

Post your prayer in the comments below.