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Nigeria: Christian Action

Christian Association of Nigeria released the names of the abducted students in Chibok. A statement signed by evangelist Matthew Owojaiwe, the President of Old Time Revival Hour, chairman of Northern States Christian and Elders Forum says he believes the reason for the attack on Chibok Girls’ High School is, ‘Chibok Local Government is 90% Christian and the majority of the girls are Christian! Why did Boko Haram visit Chibok Local Government? Why didn’t they visit so many other Local Government girls secondary schools in Borno State?’ CAN has called the Nigerian Church to pray for their release for 15 minutes every time they gather. Owojaiye said. ‘For daughters of Zion taken captive, to be treated as slaves and sold into marriage to unclean people - an abomination has been committed. Raise lamentation to High Heavens. What a shame on the Church of the Living God. Military force may not get them out! Intensive agonising prayer will.’
Pray: for the Church to be strong in their lamentation prayer. Let God arise and defend his Name. (Ps.3:7)
More: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/05/chibok-can-releases-names-abducted-girls/#sthash.7lvzWxYQ.dpuf

Nigeria: National and international action

As Nigeria struggles with the abduction of 200+ girls in April, Voice of America reported eight more teenage girls being kidnapped from Warabe village in north-eastern Nigeria on Tuesday night. On Monday the leader of Boko Haram said ‘I abducted your girls. Allah commands me to sell them in the market.’ President Goodluck Jonathan, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and several Christian groups are calling for everything to be done to rescue the girls. Boko Haram kidnaps Christian girls and turns them into sex slaves. Their strategy is ‘marry the girls and kill the men’. So by kidnapping these female students they demonstrate the impunity with which Boko Haram has been running its terrorist activities,’ Pray for God to employ more international governments to work in unity using technology and strategies that will end the reign of Boko Haram. See also
Pray: for the girls' release, for their healing from the dehumanisation, anguish and humiliation and for justice to be served. (Ps.7:5-7)
More: http://www.christianpost.com/news/boko-haram-leader-admits-to-abducting-200-schoolgirls-says-allah-told-him-to-sell-them-119128/

Nigeria: Update on missing girls

Last week you were asked to pray for more than 230 school girls abducted by Boko Haram militants in Chilbok.  This week, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the United Nations' special adviser on girls' education, will visit Nigeria to launch a campaign to raise funds and awareness of the schoolgirls' plight. ‘We cannot stop terrorism overnight but we can make sure that its perpetrators are aware that murdering and abducting schoolchildren is a heinous crime that the international authorities are determined to punish,’ he said. Relatives say they have been told of mass weddings last weekend involving insurgents and some of the abducted girls. ‘It's unbearable. Our wives have grown bitter and cry all day. The abduction of our children and the news of them being married off is like hearing of the return of the slave trade,’ said Yakubu Ubalala, whose 17- and 18-year-old daughters Kulu and Maimuna are among the disappeared.
Pray: for Nigeria's armed forces who face an uphill battle against the insurgents. (Ps.58:9). Pray protection for communities across the country's porous desert borders. (Ps.58:10,11)

Nigeria: Roots of a nation

While the violence directed against Christians in northern Nigeria lately has been at the hands of the Islamic insurgent group Boko Haram, previous attacks against Christian villages were perpetrated by members of the nomadic Fulani herdsmen. The Fulani are traditionally Muslim and resent the encroachment of Christian settlements on land they use for grazing their cattle. They consider Christians as infidels that should be exterminated. Going back further into Nigeria’s history we get a glimpse of a root of division and animosity that todays challenges may stem from. In 1809 the North of Nigeria was established as a single powerful Islamic state that existed throughout the 1800s. Meanwhile in the south between 1830s-1886 civil wars plagued the Yorubaland speaking region. In 1960 Nigeria gained independence from Britain and an amalgamation of more than 200 tribes was divided into three regions based on the three major ethnic groups. Ethnicity and religion still play a huge role in Nigerian politics.

Pray: for God to remove violent spiritual roots that have been allowed to grow in the nation; pray that every altar raised against God’s purposes for Nigeria shall fail. (1Jn.3:8)

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13951696

Nigeria: Terror grips northern Nigeria after Boko Haram kidnappings

Last week 230 schoolgirls in Borno State were kidnapped from Chilbok boarding school by Boko Haram. Efforts by officials have not rescued them so a group of fathers clubbed together to buy motorcycle fuel, and risking their own lives they drove into the Sambisa forest to try to find their daughters. They were unsuccessful. Musa Muka, whose 17-year-old daughter Martha is missing, said ‘We plead with the government to help rescue her and her friends. We pray nothing happens to her.’ Schools had been closed for four weeks for security reasons but girls aged 16 to 18 were recalled for a physics exam. Dozens of students managed to escape their captors by jumping from the back of an open truck or by running away and hiding in the dense forest. On the same day 75 people were killed and 141 injured by an explosion at a bus station in Abuja. (see last week’s Prayer-Alert)
Pray: for God to strengthen the military who are struggling to protect civilians from this insurgency. Pray for God to give the government His strategies for victory over death and destruction. (Pr.11:11)

Nigeria: National Conference needs prayer

Retired military generals attending the National Conference were enraged when civilian colleagues condemned previous military regimes for the country's woes. Delegates demanded ‘former military administrators and coup plotters’ to be barred from holding public offices. Retired military officers insisted civilians benefited from the regimes and sponsored the military takeovers. Fighting has not only been verbal. A security operative attacked a photo-journalist and smashed his camera. In the past week two delegates have collapsed and been taken to hospital and a retired Police Officer died. In his inaugural address the President said, ‘We cannot continue to proffer yesterday’s solutions for today’s problems.’ A representative in the conference requests the following prayers, ‘ that every plan to scuttle the confrence shall not come to pass. (Is.7: 7) that every altar raised against the National Conference shall fail. (1 Jn.3:8) and those using intimidation to misdirect, distract and confuse shall be put to shame. (Job 5 12-14) See also:

Pray: for the 2014 National Conference to be the event in history which Nigeria chooses to build and positively restructure. (Ecc.3:3 & Is.60:1-3) Pray for the Christian delegation to be protected. (Is. 54:14-17)

More: http://allafrica.com/stories/201404160219.html

Nigeria: Bomb kills 71 at bus station

An explosion ripped through Nyanya Bus Park station about five miles south of Abuja at rush hour on Monday, killing 71 people as they were travelling to work.124 people were wounded. Body parts were strewn across the station as rescue workers scrambled to contain the chaos that followed the attack. People were running around in panic. The blast destroyed more than 30 vehicles and caused secondary explosions as their fuel tanks exploded and burned. Bus parking zones have been among Boko Haram's preferred targets. A bomb killed more than 40 last year at a terminal in Kano.

Pray: for an end to terrorist attacks on the vulnerable. Ask God to protect schools, villages, markets, military bases, checkpoints and bus stations from terrorism. (Is.42:3-4a)

More: https://uk.news.yahoo.com/nigeria-bus-station-hit-deadly-explosion-100221951.html#327K1T0

Nigeria: Militants kill 1,500 already this year

Islamic uprisings in Nigeria have caused at least 1,500 deaths this year alone as attacks on unarmed civilians become more commonplace, according to CBN News. ‘The international community cannot continue to look the other way in the face of extra-judicial executions, attacks on civilians, and other crimes under international law being committed on a mass scale,’ said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International director for Africa. The Associated Press reported that the number of killings since the start of 2014 equalled the total killed from 2010 to the middle of 2013. The latest attack killed three police officers and two soldiers as Islamists burned military barracks to the ground and destroyed a cell tower in Yobe.

Pray: against the ongoing terrorist activities and executions. (Ps.109:28)

More: http://www.worthynews.com/12843-islamic-nigerian-militants-kill-1500-this-year

Nigeria: Commerce and poverty

At least 12 new private jets ordered by rich Nigerians will be delivered this year and private jet manufacturers will deliver 70 more within the next five years. The state-of-the-art private jets are being flown by professionals, politicians and even pastors. Each jet will cost between $30m and $65m. Many are optimistic about the business aviation market but it takes time. Infrastructure is needed. Meanwhile on Tuesday the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has reiterated the need for the Nigerian economy to grow faster in order to turn the tide on poverty. She said the chronic lack of electricity across the nation holds back businesses. ‘In the villages there are welders, plumbers and carpenters telling us their problem is uncertainty of power supply.’ Solving this power deficit would give a huge boost to Nigeria’s economy. She added Nigeria's rapid growth faced ‘vulnerabilities’. See also:

Pray: into the vulnerabilities of: poor infrastructure, corruption in business, terrorism attacks on the church, government and education systems. Pray for God to turn around Nigeria’s stunted growth. (Is.1:4)

More: http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/okonjo-iweala-nigeria-must-turn-the-tide-on-poverty/175131/

Nigeria: Dangers of rising youth unemployment

The increasing number of unemployed graduates is threatening the sustainability of the nation’s economic development and sending disturbing signals to the global environment. Hundreds of thousands of university graduates are without jobs and over two million graduates join them every year. Youth unemployment rate is over 25%. There are several incidents of exploitation of job applicants by various government and private employment agencies. They charge desperate applicants a certain amount for an empty promise of securing jobs for them. Rather than reimburse the applicants for travelling long distances to write aptitude test, the agencies ask these very poor unemployed citizens to pay for being given the opportunity to participate in the recruitment exercise. Also many in the region are saying that local unemployed youth are being recruited by Boko Haram's brutal campaign of violence. There is an urgent need for job creation, reducing poverty and informal work.

Pray: for fair access to job opportunities;ay for ‘tomorrow's leaders’ to have opportunities to grow and develop their gifts and talents. (Ps.25:12-13)

More: http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/dangers-of-rising-youth-unemployment/174483/

Nigeria: National conference starts in Abuja

Despite its vast resources Nigeria is among the most unequal countries in the world. Poverty in the north is in stark contrast to the developed southern states, while residents in the oil-rich south-east complain that all the wealth they generate flows up the pipeline to Abuja and Lagos.This week, one hundred years after the mainly Muslim north and largely Christian south were united, Abuja hosts a National Conference of 500 delegates representing ethnic, linguistic and religious groups to discuss Nigeria's future. The conference will last three months and division of oil money and powers will be the main issues. Some Nigerians want more powers to be delegated to the country's 36 states. Some believe President Goodluck Jonathan wants to use the conference to change the constitution.The conference comes ahead of next year’s elections and amid almost daily attacks by militants wanting Islamic law in the north. (See Article 4 below). Discussing whether the country should be divided is barred. Some say they will still raise this issue.

Pray: that God’s purposes would be central to all discussions around economic and social situations. May every group discussion be free of hostile dialogue; may every ethnic group have a say in the nation’s future. (Ps.85:8)

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26613962



Nigeria: Weekend violence

More than 2,000 people in northern Nigeria risked their lives by turning out for Sunday Mass while their city was being bombed. Describing St Patrick's Cathedral, Maiduguri, as ‘packed’, Father John Bakeni, the celebrant at the Mass, said people told him afterwards that if the attacks worsened they would prefer to die in church than anywhere else. Sunday's Mass took place after Boko Haram extremists launched one of their biggest armed campaigns of recent months, firing rocket-propelled grenades and mounting a massive assault on a military barracks. Hundreds died in the attacks, which were repulsed by the Nigerian military, but there were growing concerns about the government's capacity to hold back the extremists. The priest called on the world, ‘Please pray that this violence will stop.’

Pray: for religious freedom in Nigeria, pray protection for the church, pray the present persecution would end. (Job 34:24)

More: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/nigerians.risk.death.to.attend.mass/36251.htm

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