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Christian families killed as violence continues in Nigeria

Country/Region: Nigeria, Africa

A pregnant woman in labour was among 14 members of an extended Christian family killed by Muslims in Nigeria, as brutal violence continues in Plateau State and the death tally tops 100.

Gunmen carried out a midnight raid on the village of Vwang Kogot on 10 September; they shot or hacked to death the 14 family members.

President_Goodluck_Jonathan-4X3.jpg
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the military to restore order
Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.5

In another attack, gunmen killed seven children, their father and a neighbour in the mainly Christian village of Barkin Ladi, on 8 September.

More than 100 people have been killed in the sectarian violence that has beset Plateau State for more than two weeks.

On 12 September, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan ordered the military to “take all necessary actions” to stop the ethnic and religious unrest in Plateau State. But there have also been reports from eyewitnesses of military complicity in much of the violence. Survivors of the assault on Vwang Kogot reported that the assailants were accompanied by men in military uniform.

Tensions began to rise in the state capital, Jos, as the end of Ramadan approached. Fighting broke out over Muslim plans to pray at a disused Muslim prayer ground in the road where deadly anti-Christian bombings had been carried out on Christmas Eve 2010. At least 16 people were killed, including a pastor, who was mutilated and burnt; properties and vehicles were destroyed, including a church in Sarkin Mangu.

Plateau State in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, where the predominantly Muslim north meets the mainly Christian south, is often beset by sectarian tensions. The violence is widely seen as religiously motivated, but there are other factors at work too, including political rivalry; Christians mostly support the People’s Democratic Party while Muslims generally back the opposition.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in sectarian violence in Jos over the past two years.

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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    • Heavenly Father, we pray to You for our Christian brothers and sisters in north-eastern Nigeria, who are so vulnerable in the face of attacks by Boko Haram militants. We remember especially those who used to live in Madagali, in Adamawa state, until their town was seized by Boko Haram two months ago. We think of those who were betrayed into the hands of Boko Haram by their neighbours pointing out Christian homes or places where Christians had hidden. We bring before You those who saw their menfolk beheaded, and women forcibly converted to Islam. We cry out to You to intervene and bring an end to the murderous attacks by Boko Haram. We pray for all the thousands of Nigerian Christians who have suffered in similar attacks that they will not lose hope or faith in You, but will know Your peace which passes understanding. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 9 hours ago

    • Pray for a pastor in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania whose home was attacked on 17 May; two of his children were injured. When he went to report the incident to the police, he was falsely accused of raping a young woman who had left Islam to follow Christ. The pastor had taken her into his home, along with four other converts, after she was thrown out by her family; it was they who made the accusation against him. He has faced much opposition because of his fruitful outreach to Muslims, and several failed attempts have been made to frame him with false accusations. Pray that the sovereign Lord will help him and that he will not be disgraced (Isaiah 50:7-9). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Oct 2014 00:00

    • A church on Mafia Island, part of the Zanzibar archipelago, was attacked on 9 May by around 80 young Muslim men armed with arrows and knives. The church members, who are mainly converts from Islam, had gathered for their weekly overnight prayer session when the attackers appeared, shouting “death to ritad’i” (those who leave Islam). They set fi re to the church, leaving the interior in ruins, and then went in search of the pastor, but he was not at home. The incident followed a bomb blast at another church in Mwanza in mainland Tanzania on 5 May, in which a worker at the church rest house was critically injured. Pray that the authorities will effectively address the increasing incidence of attacks against churches. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Cry out to the Lord for the many Christian victims of kidnapping by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Remember especially the more than two hundred teenage girls who were taken from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno state, on the night of 14 April. A video released in May showed eight of the girls speaking about their ordeal; they plead for their release, and one says, “I never expected to suffer like this in my life.” It is believed that they have been divided into at least four groups and that most of them are being held in camps outside Nigeria. They are hungry, while some are unwell and need medical attention. Pray for their safe release and for that of other kidnapped Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Deadly attacks by Boko Haram continue relentlessly in Northern Nigeria. On 15 June, gunmen descended on the remote Christian village of Daku in Borno state; they killed 15 people, chasing and shooting those trying to escape, and torched a church, several homes and a market. Two weeks later, scores of people were killed in attacks on four villages near the mainly Christian town of Chibok; in Kwada the assailants burst into four churches and opened fire on worshippers before setting the buildings on fire. Pray that our distressed and persecuted brothers and sisters may find strength in the Lord their God (1 Samuel 30:6) as they pass through this bitter ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Oct 2014 00:00

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