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Nigeria: a state of war as Islamist insurgency rages

More than 1,300 people have died in the past two months as an insurgent Islamist group, Boko Haram, wages a rebellion rooted in poverty, corruption, religion and geography. Boko Haram is believed to be responsible for killing at least 1,300 people in the past two months and more than 130 people in the past week. The radical sect claims ties to al-Qaida and has ambitions to impose sharia law on Nigeria's 170 million people. In Boko Haram's heartland, even the national military is outgunned in what is fast becoming a lesson to the world in how not to tackle an Islamist insurgency. ‘What is clear is that they are as ruthless as any Islamist group or terrorists anywhere in the world,’ said Antony Goldman, a west Africa risk analyst at London-based PM Consulting. ‘They're quite happy to hit soft targets, including schools. Some in the Nigerian administration expect this to be a problem for another 10 years.’

Pray: that ways will be found to control Boko Haram and bring peace to Nigeria. (Ps.46:1)

More: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/08/nigeria-state-war-islamist-insurgency

Nigeria: Insurgency continues - 150 people have been killed since Friday

‘Boko Haram has stepped up its violent campaign, with hardly a day going by without reports of a deadly attack by militants’, says BBC Nigeria correspondent Will Ross. Boko Haram gave a week’s warning that it would attack Mafa. Schools were shut and most residents fled to Maiduguri city (28 miles away). Military reinforcements were sent to Mafa, but soldiers lacked the firepower or numerical strength to confront the militants and when the attack took place on Monday they ran away with the villagers. There was no resistance. Also, two policemen were killed by a bomb on Monday morning and fourteen soldiers were missing. On Saturday night fighters destroyed the entire village of Mainok when gunmen attacked with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and explosives, killing 47 people. Earlier on Saturday two bombs killed 50 in a densely populated area of Maiduguri - a city which Boko Haram has often targeted. On Friday 20 died in an army air raid on Daglun village. See also

Pray: for more international support for Nigeria’s counter-terrorist mission. (Ps.22:11 & 46:1)

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26418161

Nigeria: School raid in Yobe state leaves 29 dead

At least 29 students have been killed after Boko Haram militants attacked a boarding school in the middle of the night in north-east Nigeria. All victims were teenage boys who were in their dormitories, 11 others were seriously injured. Most of the school was burned to the ground. Islamist militants have attacked dozens of schools in north-east Nigeria. Last September, 40 students were killed at an agricultural college during another night-time raid. Teachers said the gunmen gathered the female students together before telling them to go away and get married and to abandon their education. Nigeria's armed forces are facing increasing criticism for failing to protect civilians or to respond to raids by the militants. Many suspect there are individuals within the armed forces with sympathies to the militants. Boko Haram tends to attack schools that teach Nigeria's national curriculum, which the militants consider to be Western.

Pray: for Nigeria's military whose duty it is to contain militants and pursue attackers. (Ps.81:15-16)

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26338041

Nigeria: Latest Boko Haram attack

Islamist militants have killed over 100 civilians in the Christian village of Izge, near the border of Cameroon in north-eastern Nigeria, according to reports. Armed men attacked the remote village on Saturday, slaughtering dozens of innocent people and forcing many others to flee. They also detonated bombs and set fire to homes, terrifying the local community in another string of recent attacks. Izge’s population is largely Christian. It has been under emergency rule since May last year when President Goodluck Jonathan authorised increased military powers to tackle ongoing violence in the north-eastern regions of Nigeria. However, there were no military forces present in the village on Saturday. ‘A hundred and six people, including an old woman, have been killed by the attackers,’ confirmed Senator Ali Ndume. A local resident told the Guardian that ‘the dead bodies of the victims are still lying in the streets. We fled without burying them, fearing the terrorists were still lurking in the bushes.’

Pray: God’s perfect peace and protection over Christians in central and northern Nigeria, who are suffering intense persecution and living in fear of their lives. (Ps 18:2).

More: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/nigeria.latest.boko.haram.attack.kills.106/35881.htm

106 Killed in Village Attack

Suspected Islamist militants have raided a Nigerian village and murdered dozens, according to witnesses.  The gunmen reportedly rounded up a group of men in Izghe village and shot them, before going door-to-door and killing anyone they found.  Officials said they suspected the Boko Haram group was behind the attack.  Boko Haram, which claims to be fighting to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, is notorious for extreme violence and indiscriminate attacks.  Bodies in the streets: The senator for Borno state, where the attack took place, told the BBC's Newsday programme that 106 people - 105 men and an elderly woman trying to protect her grandson - were killed in the latest attack.  Ali Ndume said around 100 Islamist militants attacked Izghe for five hours on Saturday evening, without any intervention from the army. He said the military recently withdrew from the area after nine soldiers were killed in an ambush last week.

Pray: for an end to bombings, killings and abductions, provisions for widows and orphans without a source of livelihood and for desperate communities to know hope, peace and restoration. (Is.54:5; Pr.2:12)

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26220300 

Nigeria: 60 Christians helped, 80 waiting for prosthetics

While the assaults by Boko Haram in Nigeria have faded from the news, the attacks on Christians have continued to escalate. What would you do? Go to church knowing you could be attacked? Avoid sharing your faith? Or even deny your faith to save your earthly body? These are very hard questions and Christians in Nigeria (mostly the north) face this dilemma almost daily. In recent years Boko Haram has burnt churches and beheaded Christians. Another tactic is that of severing a limb, usually a leg. In response to these attacks The Voice of the Martyrs has built a prosthetics clinic in northern Nigeria. With the help of technicians donating their time along with quality materials shipped from the US they have been able to assist 60 of our persecuted brothers and sisters with prosthetic limbs in the last 12 months and have identified 80 more Christians needing one.

Pray: for God to protect and encourage Nigerian believers living in fear, and pray for those ministering to victims of persecution. (Ps.69:32-33)

More: https://secure.persecution.com/email/prostheticclinic2014.aspx?source=EMAIL115

Nigeria: Soldiers join slaughter of Christians

Survivors of the January 6th slaughter of 33 Christians in a village in Plateau State said Special Task Force soldiers stationed to protect them turned their weapons on those fleeing the attack. Speaking from her hospital bed with bullet wounds in her legs, Antele Alamba said hundreds of Muslim Fulani herdsmen armed with guns and machetes attacked Shonong village burning homes and butchering women and children. ‘The soldiers stationed in the village to protect us joined the Fulani herdsmen in shooting and in the process most of our people were killed.’ Alamba said as tears dripped down her cheeks. ‘I was shot by soldiers as I ran away for protection. We were all trapped in the village as there was no way of escape for us. We ran to the church and soldiers followed us there. They were shooting, and the herdsmen were shooting too. It was chaos and confusion everywhere.’

Pray: for God’s comfort and provision for the survivors and the families of the dead. Pray against corruption in the security forces. (Ps.18:6-9)

More: http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2014/s14010033.htm

Nigeria: Dozens killed in fresh attacks

About 40 people were killed in coordinated attacks on four Christian-dominated villages in the central Nigerian State of Plateau. Local sources contacted by World Watch Monitor report that the assailants, believed to be members of the Fulani tribe, came at around 2am on Tuesday morning, attacking the Berom communities in the villages of Katu Kapang, Daron, Tul and Rawuru. In a statement, Captain Salisu Mustapha, Media Officer of the government's Special Task Force (STF) in Jos, said the ‘attackers killed 13 persons in Katu Kapang, eight in Daron, nine in Tul and seven others in Rawuru. About five others were also reported to have sustained injuries’. Those killed included a one-year-old boy shot at close range, a four-year old and several women and other children, villagers told local media. The Chairman of the State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Soja Bewarang, condemned in ‘strong terms’ the ‘barbarous act’ in which pregnant women and children were killed.

Pray: that solutions will be found to stop the attacks of terrorists in Nigeria. (Dt.22:26)

More: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/dozens.killed.in.fresh.attacks.in.central.nigeria/34862.htm

Cameroon: Nigeria’s Boko Haram strikes again in Cameroon

In November Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan called for Cameroon’s support in combating Boko Haram. The two countries share a 1600 km border, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the South to Lake Chad in the North. Then on November 15-17, a number of incidents took place along the border. Local sources contacted by World Watch Monitor say dozens of properties, including Ewy church in Tourou (in Cameroon) were attacked while at least one church was set ablaze and destroyed on the Nigerian side of Ashigashia. At least four people were killed and many others wounded and transferred to health centres. Despite the reinforcement of security forces in the area, villagers fear continued attacks from Islamist militants from Nigeria who now consider Cameroon their second home. Northern Cameroon is a vast semi-desert area composed of three provinces (Adamawa, North and Far North), bordered by Nigeria to the West, Chad to the Northeast and Central African Republic to the West.

Pray: for governments to strategically contain the spread of terrorism. (Jer.8:15)

More: http://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/

Nigeria: Commerce and rural update

Nigeria was labelled a potential emerging economic giant by BBC Radio 4’s Today program’ when Evan Davis and Newsday's Nkem Ifejika interviewed entrepreneurs. However ‘the country still faced fundamental issues with an infrastructure that remains a problem to the nation's economy.’ Problems with power and electricity have been solved but education was still a problem with the entrepreneurs saying it was necessary for businesses to ‘invest in future staff’. They also added the corruption had become ‘a cultural thing’. Outside the cities thousands have died in tit-for-tat ethnic violence blamed on land disputes between semi-nomadic Muslim Fulani herdsmen and mainly Christian Berom farmers in zones where Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north meets its Christian-majority south. The most recent barbarism resulted in 30 dead, dozens of houses torched, cattle killed or taken away by Hausa-Fulani herdsmen in the Riyom area. See:

Pray: for Nigeria to fulfil her potential, for the cities and the rural areas to be in God’s hands. (Pr.23:17-18)

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25619456

Nigeria: Officials portray slaughter of Christians as 'cattle theft'

Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 10 Christians in three villages in Plateau State last week in what authorities called cattle-rustling. A visit to the home where eight were killed revealed the presence of no cows. A state official was quick to deny the attack was rooted in the ethno-religious violence that has convulsed the State. Military officials asserted that security forces recovered 20 cows and killed five of the rustlers in thwarting an attempted theft. However a news reporter found no evidence of cattle ownership there. Fulani Muslims also attacked the villages of Zatsitsa-Kudeson and Chehwyanang killing two Christians.

Pray: that the Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacking Christians will be brought to account for their crimes against the innocent. Pray also for accurate and unbiased reporting by the government, and all in position of authority. (Ps.90:15-17)

More: http://morningstarnews.org/2013/10/officials-in-nigeria-try-to-portray-slaughter-of-christian-family-as-cattle-theft/

Global: November - prayer for the persecuted church

In the traditional Church calendar All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day in the month of November are set apart to remember the saints and the souls of departed Christians. The modern Church has set apart November 3-10 to remember and pray for the persecuted Church during the international days of prayer for the persecuted Church’ (IDOP). November 3rd is the day set apart in the UK and Ireland, however individuals are free to choose another date if they wish. Believers in Egypt, Eritrea, India, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan and Vietnam face violence, imprisonment and even death because of their faith in Jesus Christ. In North Korea hidden acts of persecution take place. 2013’s focus includes Indian Christians suffering increasing persecution by militants wanting a Hindu-only nation. We can pray that this year many thousands will stand alongside the persecuted Church praying that they will be able to stand firm and to continue making known the mystery of the Gospel to their neighbours.

Pray: for God to strengthen, encourage and protect those Christians living in places where faith costs the most. (Ro.1:16)

More: http://www.idop.org/

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