On Sunday 14 April, Safaratu and her husband John Kabiru Ali dedicated their baby to the Lord in a special service in the Ruhaniya Baptist Church in Nigeria’s central, Middle Belt state of Nasarawa. Later in the day, as believers gathered for a celebration dinner, Fulani Muslim militants burst in and began shooting indiscriminately.
Seventeen believers aged between 10 and 80 years died in the massacre, while eight others were wounded. The baby’s mother is dead and the father was taken to hospital in a critical condition. A funeral was held on Wednesday 17 April.
Local, Jacob Tantse reported that 10 of those killed were members of the Ruhaniya Baptist Church; five were members of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC); one was a member of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) and one was a musician who had been performing for the guests.
Sources: Christian Faith and Freedom, Morning Star News
- Please pray for those who grieve, for the wounded and for those who are traumatised.
- Pray for the imperilled church across Northern Nigeria, ask for courage and protection. Pray against any kind of retaliation.
- Ask the Lord to have mercy on the perpetrators and remove hate, evil and violence from their hearts and reveal to them, the one true God.
Post your prayer for Nigeria in the comments below.
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On 7-8 September, several missiles were reportedly fired by al-Qaeda-linked rebels toward the predominately Christian town of Mhardeh, Syria. Reports indicate that the missiles carried cluster bombs, killing at least 10 civilians and seriously wounding at least 20 others. Two more died later in hospital.
Five of the dead were children under 15, three from the same family, whose mother and grandmother were also killed. The children’s father is in hospital.
“Do you feel that you are safe now?” asked a reporter for Norwegian newspaper Dagen, which has links to Mhardeh. “All we can do now is to pray,” a local source told its reporter. “The only thing we feel is grief. Please pray for us.”
Mhardeh, reported to be one of the most densely populated Christian villages in Syria, has received thousands of internally displaced people from other parts of the country.
Mhardeh is controlled by the Syrian government, which has retaliated by attacking nearby towns as part of the build-up to the offensive against Idlib Province. The province is the last remaining stronghold controlled by the opposition.
Sources: International Christian Concern, World Watch Monitor
- Ask the Lord to comfort these families in their time of shock and grief. Pray they will rest in the knowledge that the good shepherd walks with them (Psalm 23).
- Ask the Lord to bring healing to those who are injured; pray for the medical staff who are treating them.
- Ask the Lord to intervene and bring an end to the bloodshed in Syria.