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President's Address

Praying for our Nation's Transformation

(Transcript of speech given by President Jonathan on the flagging off of the previous CAN Year of Prayer)

IN 1787 America was at a crossroads regarding the future of the country.  The Constitutional Convention was on the verge of total failure over the issue of whether small states should have the same representation as large states.  In this hopeless situation, 81 year-old public official, writer and scientist, Benjamin Franklin, offered a suggestion.  He was convinced Scripture is right when it states, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1).  So he said: “Gentlemen, I have lived a long time and am convinced that God governs in the affairs of men.  If a sparrow cannot fall to the round without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?  I move that prayer imploring the assistance of Heaven be held every morning before we proceed to business”.

President Jonathan's Flagging Off Speech

Praying for our Nation's Transformation

(Transcript of speech given by President Jonathan - flagging off the previous 2012-13 Year of Prayer)

IN 1787 America was at a crossroads regarding the future of the country.  The Constitutional Convention was on the verge of total failure over the issue of whether small states should have the same representation as large states.  In this hopeless situation, 81 year-old public official, writer and scientist, Benjamin Franklin, offered a suggestion.  He was convinced Scripture is right when it states, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1).  So he said: “Gentlemen, I have lived a long time and am convinced that God governs in the affairs of men.  If a sparrow cannot fall to the round without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?  I move that prayer imploring the assistance of Heaven be held every morning before we proceed to business”.

Christian Association of Nigeria

"That they all may be One" John 17:21

"The Weapons of our warfare are not carnal but Mighty through God" (1 Cor. 10:3).

We are aware of the many problems that have plagued the Nigerian nation which include insecurity, corruption and general fall in the standard of morality both within the church and society. If Nigeria is to fulfill her God-given mandate, we need to find urgent solutions to these problems.

In view of the above, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor has requested that Christians throughout the country embark on a one year prayer project for Nigeria starting from September 30th 2012 - September 30th, 2013 which will be preceded by three days of repentance, fasting and prayers on 27, 28 and 29th September 2012.

Nigeria: Crackdown on Boko Haram

Nigerian forces have killed 35 suspected Boko Haram members in a crackdown on the insurgent group in the north eastern city of Damaturu, Yobe State the country's military says. ‘The Joint Task Force has succeeded in killing 35 Boko Haram terrorists in shootouts between Sunday evening through Monday,’ said Lieutenant Lazarus Eli, a military spokesman in Yobe, of which Damaturu is the capital. A round-the-clock curfew was imposed in the city late on Saturday, ahead of the operation that also led to the arrest of 60 suspected Boko Haram members. The curfew has been relaxed and residents are now allowed out of their homes from 7:00am to 10:00pm, Eli said. The ban on movements in Yobe's economic capital of Potiskum has also been eased. Military forces went door-to-door through three Damaturu neighbourhoods beginning late on Sunday and engaged militants in ‘a fierce exchange of gunfire’ through to the early hours of Monday morning, the spokesman added in a statement.

Pray: for success for the authorities as they seek to control the Boko Haram insurgents. (Pr.10:11)

More: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/09/2012924205430561216.html

Nigeria: Church bombed in Bauchi

A suicide bomber has attacked a church in Bauchi, northern Nigeria, killing a woman and a child and injuring 48, according to the Red Cross. Police said the bomber's car was stopped at the gates of St John's Church where he detonated explosives packed inside the vehicle. Bauchi has often been targeted by the Islamist Boko Haram group, which wants to impose Sharia law across Nigeria. Sunday attacks on churches took place regularly earlier this year. Doctors in Bauchi warned that many of the injuries were serious and the death toll could rise. Speaking at a nearby hospital, Bauchi Deputy Police Commissioner T. Stevens told journalists: ‘The situation has been brought under control. We have our men minding all areas.’ Attacks in central and northern Nigeria blamed Boko Haram of haveing killed some 1,400 people since 2010.

Pray: for a spiritual breakthrough in Nigeria that would lead to a ceasing of terrorist activities. (Ps.7:9)

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19691781

Nigeria: Bishops voice concern over terrorist activities

Worried by the activities of Islamic fundamentalist groups, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has called for more vigilance by the federal government to check the rising wave of terrorism. ‘Being more vigilant especially at the borders would help the country checkmate any foreign sponsors of terrorist activities in Nigeria,’ the Catholic Bishops said in a communiqué issued on 14 September at the end of their conference in Umahia in eastern Nigeria. The Nigerian government has been battling the radical Islamic group popularly known as Boko Haram, which has been responsible for various terrorist attacks in the northern parts of the country in which hundreds of persons, especially Christians, have been killed and many churches destroyed. The bishops' call comes on the heels of spirited efforts by the federal government to prevent the spread of anti-US protests by Muslims over a film said to have insulted the Prophet Muhammad.

Pray: against the terrorist activities that take place in Nigeria and pray that the radical elements will be controlled. (2Cor.11:28)

More: http://www.eni.ch/featured/article.php?id=5932

Nigeria: Gunmen and bombs

A suicide bomber in Damaturu Nigeria has killed at least six soldiers and two civilians when he rammed a car into a military vehicle that was part of a convoy. No group has said it carried out the bombing. Damaturu is frequently attacked by Boko Haram. See: Nineteen worshippers were killed when gunmen opened fire at Deeper Life Evangelical Church during their Monday evening service in Kogi State. No group has yet claimed responsibility, but Boko Haram has claimed scores of attacks on churches in northern and central Nigeria in recent months. Twenty-four hours after the church attack gunmen came to a local mosque and tried to force their way in as Muslims gathered for their Tafsir prayer. They opened fire and killed two soldiers guarding the premises. See: Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer. It is roughly divided between a Muslim north and Christian south.

Pray: for Christian and Muslim leaders in Nigeria's Government to be able to instil calm and a peaceful co-existence. (Pr.29:4)

More: http://www.france24.com/en/20120807-nigeria-gunmen-storm-deeper-life-bible-church-okene-kogi-state-15-dead-boko-haram-unrest

Iran & Nigeria: Churches continue to suffer

Churches ministering in Iran and Nigeria are experiencing increasing levels of persecution by authorities and extremists attempting to stamp out Christianity. Assembly of God in Tehran had its summer campsite closed and were warned of severe consequences should anyone try to enter. Also Friday Farsi Language services and Bible classes have been closed. AG Eurasia Regional Director said, ‘The increasing pressures put on churches in Iran recently is a cause for great concern. We are doing everything we can to help them, but they need God's intervention most of all.’ In Nigeria extremists are demanding the adoption and enforcement of Sharia law and the establishment of a new Nigeria under those laws. Villages, churches, government institutions, and schools (especially Christian schools) are being violently attacked. Central Assemblies of God has lost more than 25 churches this year, with many members fleeing for their lives.

Pray: for the suffering church around the world and particularly for Iran and Nigeria who are paying such a heavy price for their faith. (Ps.68:28)

More: http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2012/s12070143.htm

Nigeria: News becomes more dark

A series of coordinated attacks on African Christian communities in Nigeria’s Plateau State over recent weekends have left many dead and injured. The various news reports provide conflicting information about some basic facts - number of attackers - sequence of events - an accounting of the dead - but they all agree on the severity of the attacks. Information from news sources state 50 of the 90 killed in one incident were from a single church in Maseh village. Sources report that rebels from the Boko Haram surrounded the church and set it on fire. As the church burned the assailants waited and killed anyone trying to escape. The spokesperson for Boko Haram, Abul Qaqa, claimed responsibility and guaranteed that there would be more attacks on Christians as they attempt to establish total control and Islamize the region. Boko Haram has essentially declared war in Jos and its surrounding area. Our prayers and support for Nigerian Christians have never been more critically needed.

Pray: for Nigerian Christians to be surrounded and held tenderly by God and to be continually aware of His unfailing love for them. (Ps.13)

More: http://www.opendoorsusa.org/pray/prayer-updates/2012/%297-July/Nigeria-is-becoming-genocide

Nigeria: Government tactics and Muslim converts

President Goodluck Jonathan fired his defence minister and national security adviser, saying the government needs new tactics to counter Boko Haram. Since 2001 when Sharia Law was established in Northern Nigeria 13,750+ Christians have been killed. Since last December 300+ churches have been destroyed. Five million Christians in Northern Nigeria live under severe persecution with Islamic groups regularly issuing ultimatums to Christian communities to leave the area or die. Christians suffer attacks which are pre-planned and well-coordinated. There are many attempts to force Christians to convert to Islam under the threat of death. Many have courageously died as martyrs rather than deny Christ. However - many Muslims, both persecutors and those appalled by the behaviour of Jihadists have been won to Christ in recent years. Muslims complain that Christian Evangelism has become a big threat to them. See:

Pray: for God to show President Jonathan and Nigeria’s leaders the way forward and for many more Muslims to come to know the only way to salvation. (2 Thes. 3:1-2)

More: http://www.npr.org/2012/06/25/155710016/religious-violence-shakes-up-northern-nigeria

Nigeria: Security forces in Northern Nigeria warn more violence is coming

The grim report was confirmed by an e-mail released by the Boko Haram confirming their plans for the coming weeks. In Kaduna and Zaria where churches were bombed last week, a curfew is still in effect. Open Doors reported two thwarted bombings over the weekend. Open Doors President and CEO, Dr Carl Moeller, explains, 'Boko Haram concealed a bomb in a coffin, claiming that it was a corpse. Fortunately, soldiers at a checkpoint insisted on seeing what was inside, and there were bombs in there. The men were arrested.' In the second attempt, a man was arrested when he masqueraded as someone who was interested in learning about Jesus Christ. The pastor noticed a bag a few yards away, which the possible convert denied knowing anything about. However the police discovered that the bag was filled with explosives, and the would-be suicide bomber was arrested. Then, with Sunday came a prison break, a fire fight, and the escape of 40 inmates who are members of Boko Haram.

Pray: that any further plans by Boko Haram will be thwarted. (Is.8:10)

More: http://www.mnnonline.org/article/17376

Nigeria: Three weeks of church bombings

Suicide bombers attacked Christians during Sunday worship for the third week running, killing 50+ in a familiar pattern of a suicide bomber ramming a car into a church. This week it was the Winning All church in Kaduna on Sunday killing 24 and wounding 125. Within a few minutes explosives were detonated at Christ the King Church in Zaria killing 16+ and injuring dozens - some of them critically and many were children. Then Shalom Church in Kaduna was bombed killing 10+. Boko Haram have claimed responsibility for all attacks – as they did for attacks in Plateau and Borno states on June 10 and in Bauchi state on June 3. Riots in Kaduna sparked by Sunday's bombings killed 52+ and a 24-hour curfew was implemented on Sunday to restore order. Pray for an end to extremist violence which has claimed more than 500 lives in Nigeria this year. Pray too that those living in affected areas will not seek reprisals.

Pray: for God to bless the efforts of those who are working to build bridges between Christian and Muslim communities, and may the grieving and injured draw near to God and receive His strength. (Ps.18:16,17)

More: http://www.releaseinternational.org/pages/posts/nigeria-more-than-50-killed-in-third-week-of-church-bombings-992.php

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