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Deputy Director's 2010 visit to Nig...

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Deputy Director's 2010 visit to Niger

Project(s): 38-568, 38-906

Country/Region: Niger

Deputy director Mark Green toured Niger’s Christian communities from 17-24 September to monitor food distribution and development projects supported by Barnabas Fund. Below are details about some of the places he visited. Full village/town names have been withheld to protect the security of Christians in these places...

GB:

Niger-kids-1010-cropped.jpg
Christian children from GB

his is a village of 1,500 people which is 95 per cent Christian. Mr Green was met by a very large delegation of villagers including church elders, pastors and a school principal, who expressed thanks to Barnabas Fund for the food aid they received. A spokesman for the village said:

We are very grateful for the food assistance sent by you. It has made the difference between life and death for us.

Mr Green described the current crops here as “borderline sufficient”, adding, “We saw that the progress of crops, mainly millet and sorghum, was variable, and some clearly was not going to produce anything this year. Other plants were reasonably advanced and with a little more rain would be fully ripe for October harvest. Generally they think that the harvest will be just about sufficient for 12 months but not enough to get families out of debt or restore food reserves.”

GH:

This small village of approximately 800 people is home to around 60 Christian adults.

Mr Green said:

Christians are very poor here and food aid has been a real lifeline this year. The harvest is likely to be barely sufficient, and they fear difficult times again before next year’s harvest.

DT:

grain-store.jpg
Typical grain store

There are 20 churches in this area, and they have been trying to promote income-generation projects such as buying young animals and fattening them up for profitable sale, with some limited success.

Churches are looking to re-stock their depleted cereal banks. These work by acquiring grain when prices are low just after harvest, storing it, and selling it when people are in need 9-11 months later. Merchants do the same thing but charge market prices, which can be 50 per cent higher or more in times of scarcity. There are frequent complaints about merchants profiteering from people’s hunger. Church and community cereal banks charge only slightly higher prices (to cover losses and minimal costs).

BS:

BS_cow
Christian man from BS with his famished cow

A village with a population of 1,000, which is 90-95 per cent Christian, and has two churches. It has been one of Barnabas Fund’s main feeding points over the years.

Mr Green said:

This year they were desperate at the time, looking for food everywhere, and then the Barnabas Fund distribution arrived. They are at the beginning of their harvest and praying for plenty.

GK:

GK_ladies
Christian women from GK

There are 176 Christians in this village of 1,000 people. It suffered severely from the food shortages, causing people to flee in search of supplies elsewhere. Some newborn babies died because their mothers had no milk; animals also perished. They received no help from the government or NGOs.

Thank you very much for thinking of us, said one elder.

Mr Green said:

The current situation is worrying; the harvest, which is due now, might be worse than last year. Round the village itself the fields are OK because those are good plots of land, but further away the crops are poor or non-existent.

MD:

MD_kids
Christian children from MD

There are about 15 churches in this town and various Christian organisations are at work.

Here, Mr Green found mainstream food distribution to be erratic at best with examples of corruption. He said:

Some people erroneously think Christians are wealthy and get lots of aid and so they should get no government or aid agency help.

We checked the level of persecution here: Muslims build a mosque and send an imam wherever a Christian evangelist works; goods and services (e.g. grinding corn, water, or in shops) cost more if they know you are a Christian; the media is hostile when there is any preaching. Christian children, who are usually recognised by their name, have problems in schools. Muslim aid, school support etc is normally given only to Muslims.

 

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

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    • Give thanks that two small Christian communities in Niger have received livestock from Barnabas Fund to help them become self-sufficient. The Christians also received three days of training to learn how to take care of the animals. The predominantly Muslim region where these communities are located has endured more than a decade of food insecurity. Pray that the livestock will prosper, so that the Christians will be able to sell them at a good price and will become financially independent. Pray also that growing tensions between Muslims and Christians in Niger will not adversely affect them. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 3 hours ago

    • Almighty God, we call to You for relief for Christians in the Gwoza area of Borno state in Northern Nigeria, as they face repeated violent attacks by Boko Haram militants. We pray for comfort for the relatives and friends of the hundreds who have been killed, and for the thousands who have been forced from their homes and seen them torched. We ask for Your special protection on Christians as they gather to worship You. We pray for the Nigerian authorities to re-establish control of the area, so that the displaced Christians may be safe from further attacks and free to rebuild their shattered communities. We pray too for their persecutors to come to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Sep 2014 00:00

    • “This is a war against Christians and democracy and their constitution. Allah says we should finish them when we get them.” The leader of the Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram was speaking in a video that reasserted their agenda and addressed “the people of the world”, saying, “Either you are with us Mujahedeen or you are with the Christians.” The translation of the video was released as scores of people were killed in suicide bombings in May, including at least 118 in a double attack in Jos, Plateau state on 20 May. Pray that Boko Haram’s murderous campaign to establish an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria will not succeed. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Pray for Bible school students in Vietnam who were subjected to a terrifying night-time raid by police and hired thugs. On 9 June, officers swooped from adjacent rooftops into the church compound that houses the school, while vehicle-loads of people were brought to the site to vandalise the building with bricks, stones and sticks. The students were beaten, punched and kicked before being taken away for interrogation; 20 were left in need of medical attention but were prevented from leaving to find it. Thugs continued to attack the compound over the next ten nights. Pray for the students as they recover from this brutal assault and that they will stand firm in their faith in the face of intimidation. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Aug 2014 00:00

    • In an earlier incident in Saisomboon village, three teenage Christian girls were disqualified from taking their final school examinations because of their faith. The village chief said that in following Christianity, Noi (15), Net (15) and Nut (14) had forfeited their right to education. Five families from the village have now converted to Christianity. A spokesman for Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom expressed the view that the authorities were trying to find every possible way “to stop the spread of Christian religious freedom in the area”. Pray that the girls will be allowed to complete their education and that opposition to the Christians in the village will cease. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Aug 2014 00:00

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