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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: Christian Woman Killed for Refusing Marriage Proposal

PAKISTAN: Christian Woman Killed for Refusing Marriage Proposal

A 24-year-old Christian woman was shot and killed in Pakistan after she refused a marriage proposal and invitation to convert to Islam by a Muslim man.

On 11 November, Sonia Bibi was shot and killed in public by Muhammad Shehzad and Faizan, two Muslim men. Sonia was reportedly confronted and killed while she was on her way to work at a garment factory.

According to Sonia’s family, Shehzad had been harassing Sonia for the last six months and had tried to force a physical relationship with her. Sonia refused these advances due to the difference in faith backgrounds.

Eventually, Shehzad proposed that Sonia should marry him and convert to Islam. Shehzad’s mother was even sent to Sonia’s family home in an attempt to negotiate an arranged marriage. Sonia’s family also refused the marriage.

“A few days before the incident, Sonia was again harassed by Shehzad,” Allah Rakha, Sonia’s father, said. “Since she was a committed Christian, she did not betray Jesus and sacrificed her life for her faith.”

“We are being harassed and pressurised to withdraw the case against the culprits,” Rakha continued. “However, I want the culprits brought to justice.”

Police have registered a First Information Report against Shehzad and Faizan. Faizan has been taken into custody. Police are searching for Shehzad.

Sources: International Christian Concern, Aid to the Church in Need

  • Ask God to comfort Sonia’s parents and four younger siblings. Pray they will feel the Lord’s presence as they come to terms with such a terrible loss.
  • Pray for justice for the family and ask God for their protection.
  • Pray for Shehzad and Faizan, may they have the opportunity to hear the Gospel and be brought to repentance.

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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.

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