Islamic insurgents seek to establish a caliphate in East Africa, rendering life in the northern coastal regions impossible and severely affecting Christians.
Islamists have been active in the region for the past three years, but a group has now launched attacks on villages from the north, displacing thousands into other parts of the country. Many are affected by the insurgents, but the situation for the Christians who encounter them is especially dire.
VOM partners report beheadings and incinerated churches; schools, clinics and police stations have also been destroyed. As VOM partners provide comfort to believers, they are also providing food aid and Bibles to the displaced, giving them the opportunity to hope in Jesus.
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Pray the believers will be strong and courageous in the midst of great suffering and uncertainty. Pray they will experience the Lord’s ministering presence.
- Ask the Lord to bless the efforts of those who are attempting to stop the violence and bring order.
- Pray that God will bring beauty from ashes and that many will gain hope and eternal life through this time of trial.
The governor of the Borno state in north-east Nigeria has revealed that the extremist group Boko Haram is responsible for making tens of thousands of widows and orphans in the state as it continues its reign of terror.
Borno Govenor Babagana Zulum was recently a guest lecturer at the National Defence College. His lecture was attended by senior military officers and policymakers from inside and outside Nigeria. Zulum, a college lecturer who was elected last year as Borno’s governor, did not mince words as he criticized ineffective government leadership for its inadequate response to the insurgency that continues to wreak havoc in his state.
Boko Haram, which began in 2002, has killed and abducted thousands across the Lake Chad region in recent years and has developed a reputation as one of the world’s deadliest terrorist groups. Zulum provided a glimpse into how Boko Haram’s violence has impacted his state. He said Boko Haram is responsible for the creation of 59,311 orphans and 59,123 widows throughout its existence.
Although President Buhari has claimed to have defeated Boko Haram, the group continues to murder and kidnap. Although Boko Haram did not kill as many people in 2019 as the group has in years past, experts warn the decline is due to a change in a tactic by the militant group to focus more on kidnappings.
The Nigerian government has faced international criticism for its failure to protect citizens and thwart Boko Haram’s attacks and abductions.
Source: Christian Post, Australian Prayer Network
- On behalf of those who have suffered loss at the hand of Boko Haram militants in Nigeria and surrounding nations, pray for the Lord’s intervention and ask Him to bring spiritual good out of the pain and grief.
- Ask the Lord to strengthen the resolve of His children to love, serve and follow Him even through great trials and suffering.
- Pray for the authorities in Nigeria for wisdom and action.
A violent guerrilla group summoned nine Colombian pastors to a meeting on 8 July after the pastors refused to pay “protection money” in June.
On 7 July, the National Liberation Army (ELN) sent a note ordering the pastors to attend a meeting across the border in Venezuela, where the group operates with impunity. Many feared that the ELN might execute the pastors for refusing to pay the 2 million pesos ($930).
The pastors ask for prayer as they continue to face harassment from ELN members who have placed new restrictions on their churches. The guerrillas have forbidden the construction of new church buildings, and Christians are no longer allowed to meet in individual homes for worship or study. Additionally, any new pastors must be from the local region, and no one from outside the ELN-controlled region is allowed to visit the Christians there. ELN members also expect the pastors to help them financially from time to time because they are suffering from food shortages and a transportation strike.
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Ask the Lord to grant these pastors wisdom when dealing with ELN members; may He give them the right words to say. Pray for their protection and that of their families.
- Pray the Gospel may continue to go forth in spite of these threats and restrictions.
- Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to many ELN members; pray that through the witness of these pastors the members may be moved to consider Christ for themselves and start on a new path.
COLOMBIA: Pray for Milena, Husband and 3 Sons Killed
COLOMBIA: Widow Being Sought by Husband’s Killer
COLOMBIA: Pray for Family of Murdered Pastor and Teenage Son
Two church workers in Nigeria have recently been killed by militants in separate incidents. Eunice Elisha was murdered in the early hours of 9 July near Nigeria’s capital of Abuja. The 42-year-old mother of seven had gone out to preach as usual, her husband Pastor Olawale told local media.
Eunice is described by her surviving husband as a zealous Christian who “rarely missed a day in church.” When asked how he felt about the attack, Olawale replied, “I see Eunice as a martyr who died for Christ. Whether the people are caught or not, they should be forgiven.” Police have since arrested six suspects, and will be continuing with their investigation.
Eunice’s case represents only one of several attacks targeting Christians in recent weeks. Reverend Joseph Kura, a pastor of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Obi town (located within Nigeria’s central State of Nasarawa), was killed on 30 June by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen.
Rev Joseph was accompanied by three other people when he went to his farm at about 7pm to cut down trees for roofing wood. As the group arrived at the farm, two armed men suddenly appeared from behind them. Rev Joseph’s severely mutilated body was later recovered from the scene. He leaves behind a wife and seven children.
Source: World Watch Monitor
- May the families and friends of these faithful servants be greatly comforted with God’s promises of being reunited with them and with our Lord in the next life.
- Intercede for the perpetrators that they may also come to personally know the Lord and His saving grace.
- Pray the church in Nigeria will be unified and may witness for the Gospel by loving and forgiving their persecutors; pray the Gospel will spread throughout the land.
NIGERIA: Legislation Will Further Islamise the Country
NIGERIA: Released Pastor Fails to Survive in Wilderness
NIGERIA: Boko Haram Demands Ransom
Nassif was tied to a banana tree and burnt – for putting his faith in Jesus. He is only nine and it was his own father who set light to the tree.
Please pray that God will heal this young Ugandan boy as he recovers in Kamuli Hospital. His family are furious with him for turning his back on Islam and refusing to follow Muslim practices: he was caught eating during Ramadan.
It was a neighbour who took Nassif to the church where the boy decided to accept Jesus as his Saviour. The neighbour too needs our prayers: he’s received threatening text messages. Other neighbours rescued Nassif and took him to hospital.
Nassif’s father, Abubakar, has been arrested and released on bail.
Source: Release International, Morning Star News
- Please pray that Nassif will know that God is holding him in His hands and that he is the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8). Pray for his physical and emotional healing. Pray for protection and provision.
- Lift up Abubakar to God and pray that he too, like his son, will come to know Jesus.
- Pray for all our brothers and sisters in Christ, living in Muslim areas of eastern Uganda, where persecution against Christians is increasingly common.
UGANDA: Children Narrowly Escape Death
UGANDA: Pastor Poisoned After Theological Dispute
UGANDA: Woman Beaten for Accusing Imam