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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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Daily prayer

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  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 11 hours ago

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Condemned Christian mother Aasia Bibi’s final appeal hearing is scheduled to take place tomorrow (14 April) having been deferred twice. She was sentenced to death for blasphemy in November 2010 having been falsely accused of insulting Muhammad following an argument with Muslim co-workers. Aasia has been languishing in jail since the accusation was made in June 2009. Pray that her appeal will finally go ahead and that the judges will have the courage to acquit and release Aasia; there are concerns that they may give in to pressure from hardline Islamists who have been calling for her execution. Pray that Aasia, her husband and children will know the Lord’s peace as they await the verdict. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

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