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Christians killed and churches bombed amid Islamist violence in Nigeria

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Christians killed and churches bombed amid Islamist violence in Nigeria

Project(s): 00-345

Country/Region: Nigeria, Africa

Two worshippers were killed and at least 12 injured in an armed raid on a church, and at least six other churches were bombed during a spate of widespread attacks by Islamist militants in Northern Nigeria that left around 150 people dead.

A church in Tabak village, Kaduna State, was targeted during a prayer meeting on Thursday evening (3 November). As the meeting was drawing to a close, gunmen burst into the building and fired at the congregation, which consisted mainly of women and children. Two women died at the scene, while at least twelve other people were wounded; some were said to be in a critical condition.

Burnt_Building_Nigeria_4X3.jpg
Christians are frequently victims of violence in Nigeria

The Reverend Yunusa Nmadu, secretary of the Kaduna State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, condemned the armed attack “on innocent Christian worshippers in the church” and expressed concern that the incident had happened “in spite of the heavy presence of soldiers in the area”.

The following day, two other Northern states were rocked by a series of deadly bomb and gun attacks for which the militant Islamist group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility. A rescue agency official said that the death toll stood at 150.

The militants mainly targeted the security forces, hitting police stations and an army base in Yobe and Borno states. Churches were also attacked; six were bombed in a mainly Christian neighbourhood of Damaturu called Jerusalem in Yobe state. One minister whose church was burnt down said gangs of young men were roaming the streets throwing improvised bombs into church buildings.     

Boko Haram, which is fighting to establish an Islamic state in the North, has carried out a number of major strikes this year; more than 240 people have died in the group’s violent campaign. Their spiritual leader, Abubakar Shekau, has urged followers to carry out more assassinations and bombings, saying:

Whomever we kill, we kill because Allah says we should kill and we kill for a reason.

Tensions have been particularly high in Northern Nigeria since April when Muslims went on the rampage in protest against the re-election of Christian President Goodluck Jonathan. They unleashed their rage against Christian targets among others; scores of churches were destroyed, hundreds of people killed and tens of thousands displaced during the violence.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Aid, said:

Islamists have once again wreaked havoc in Nigeria, leaving a trail of devastation and destroyed lives. Amid this ongoing carnage, our brothers and sisters continue to suffer. We must pray earnestly for peace in that troubled land and be ready to help meet the practical needs of Christians who have been affected by the violence.

Give Today

Christian minorities in Northern Nigeria and many other contexts are very vulnerable to anti-Christian violence. If you would like to help brothers and sisters who have been affected by such attacks, please send your donation to project 00-345 (Victims of Violence Fund). Please click to donate online using our secure server.

If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference 00-345 (Victims of Violence Fund).

If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of our regional office. Please quote project reference 00-345 (Victims of Violence Fund).

For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/345 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).

Resources

There is a poster for download to advertise this appeal here and a PowerPoint slide for your church notices is available here.

Please Pray:
  • That there will be peace in Nigeria, and that the authorities will be able to restrain Boko Haram’s terrorist activities.
  • For all those people who have lost loved ones or been injured in the latest attacks.
  • That the Lord will give Nigerian Christians the strength to stand firm in their faith amid unrelenting attacks.
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Christians killed and churches bombed amid Islamist violence in Nigeria

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

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Daily prayer

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  • Praise God for the release of John Short, an Australian missionary who was detained in North Korea for distributing Christian leaflets. John, who is 75 and based in Hong Kong, was reported to security officials in Pyongyang after he was spotted leaving a Christian leaflet at a Buddhist temple, an act that is illegal in North Korea. Further Korean-language Christian pamphlets were subsequently found in his hotel room. John, who was released on 3 March after two weeks in custody, was required to sign a confession probably scripted by the authorities. Other foreign missionaries arrested in North Korea have been given long prison sentences. Give thanks to God that John has escaped further punishment, and pray for him as he recovers from his traumatic ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 12 hours ago

  • Pray for Barnabas Aid partners in South Sudan who have been supporting Christians forced from their homes by violence. Conflict between supporters of President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar in December and January displaced around 860,000 people. Churches were burned down and a number of pastors killed, while many people lost their belongings and were left destitute. Give thanks that churches in and around the capital, Juba, were able to provide food and other essentials to many families with help from Barnabas. Pray that they may continue to be salt and light in their country at this unstable time (Matthew 5:13-16), and that it will soon be safe for displaced Christians to return home. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for the residents of a mainly Christian village in Borno state, Northern Nigeria, in the aftermath of a horrific attack by Boko Haram militants on 15 February. Ask for God’s comfort for the relatives and friends of the 106 people in Izghe who were gunned down and slaughtered in their houses or in the open as they tried to flee. Pray for strength for the numerous residents who were wounded or whose properties were looted and torched. Pray too for the many Christians who fled into the neighbouring state after the attack, and ask that the Christian community in the North of Nigeria will be preserved in the face of Islamist violence. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Violent attacks by militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram continue unabated in Northern Nigeria. On one horrendous day of violence on 26 January, at least 138 people were killed. A church in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state was targeted; the attackers locked the congregation inside and then detonated bombs, shooting and cutting the throats of people who tried to escape. They then went on a four-hour rampage in the village. Later the same day, Kawuri village in neighbouring Borno state was burned to the ground. Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state, and Christians are among its main targets. Pray that the Nigerian authorities will succeed in containing its insurgency. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

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