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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.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

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.

Nigeria: Testimony

Nigeria: Testimony

“My name is Mashingil Philemon of Rugu community, Gashish, Barkin Ladi LGA, Plateau State, Nigeria. I am married and have four children. I was a successful farmer.

“On 23 June 2018, I was sitting with my friend; we were talking with one another. Suddenly we heard gunshots, so we ran into the community to see what was happening. The sight of Fulani men killing our people greeted us. We all began to run, seeking refuge. I ran with one of my friends into a room. We did not know that the Fulani men had seen us. They started shooting into the room where we hid. As they shot at us, they shouted (in Arabic), ‘Allah is great.’ We cried out and they said they had come to kill us.

“The room was locked, and we heard loud sounds like people trying to break the wall. They stopped and soon after we could smell petrol. They set fire to the house. The fire was intense, and my friend said he would go out. I said to him that I would rather die in the fire than go out for those men to kill me. We stayed in the room even as the fire grew more intense and began to burn us. We screamed in pain then lay very still on the floor, pretending to be dead.

“After the fire died down, the men came in and checked us. They must have thought we were dead as they soon left.

“Hours later, when the raid was over, we came out of hiding. We were both badly burned. At first, we thought we were the only ones left alive, but we soon found other survivors. No one wanted to take us to the hospital as they feared encountering the Fulani men. My brother decided to take me to the next village for medical help. It was a long journey.

“I have had many surgeries for my burns and I still need more.”

VOM partners have provided medical help and other necessities to Mashingil, his family and the community.

“I am truly grateful to them for coming to the aid of my people. It has really given me hope and I know that we are not forgotten. The medical aid has provided me with the opportunity to once again be reviewed by doctors. I could not afford to go to the hospital for follow-up. My family is grateful for the food aid. We have been short of food for a long time.

“We pray that God gives you the means to extend this help to other areas of northern Nigeria.”

If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate

Voice of the Martyrs Australia is an endorsed deductible gift recipient (DGR) by the Australian government. This means you can claim tax deductions for all donations over $2 to Voice of the Martyrs Australia on your tax return.

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.

NIGERIA: In the Morning

NIGERIA: In the Morning

An update from VOM partners in Nigeria

Today, with a group of students in a Bible school class in a conflict zone – a frequent target for terrorists – we were caught up in beautiful hope. These students are from Nigeria’s north, a region overwhelmed with terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, religious persecution, and abject poverty. Our lesson was in the Hausa language, the trade language of our region. Along with millions of others, these ones have never had the privilege of secondary education, or they would speak English, Nigeria’s official language and the language of secondary school. As various students stood to read the Scriptures in Hausa, they stumbled and gently corrected each other, absorbed in what they understood.

Most came to Christ from Islam as teenagers or young adults. They have endured beatings, imprisonment, deprivation of food, death threats, forced marriage, rape, rejection and destitution because of the faith they found in Jesus. As we learned today of God’s kingdom, of His will being done here, among us as it is in Heaven, of how Isaiah writes of this beautiful kingdom, of resurrection, of the groaning creation restored, of the infant playing by the cobra without harm, of swords remade into ploughs – long sighs emerged. A student sitting in front of me – raped and now with her baby born and being raised with the support of our mission – sighed in response to Isaiah’s beautiful words. These prophecies of Isaiah mean so much to such people. Their hearts yearn as they listen. This inheritance is kept securely for us. Whatever we endure now, we are part of this future, and will see that day dawn.

At this time, when our nations are almost overwhelmed by fear of death, we can sigh like our Hausa brothers and sisters, and rest in hope. Our hope is far beyond threat. We have a sure hope of resurrection, restoration, and renewal.

If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate

Voice of the Martyrs Australia is an endorsed deductible gift recipient (DGR) by the Australian government. This means you can claim tax deductions for all donations over $2 to Voice of the Martyrs Australia on your tax return.