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NIGERIA: Pilgrimage and persecution

15,000+ Nigerian Christians will have participated in the 2012 pilgrimage to Jerusalem this year. So far 11,060 pilgrims have visited Israel and more are expected. The 2012 Christian pilgrimage will end on Dec. 24. The only changes in plans were that visits to Mount Sinai were suspended because of unfavourable security reports. The Israeli authorities reciprocate Nigeria’s love for Israel by always making the pilgrims’ stay in the Holy land worthwhile. See: Meanwhile at home, Nigerian Christians are asking churches across the world to pray for their safety from deadly attacks this Christmas, amid renewed threats. Boko Haram has been attacking Christians from northern Nigeria. Dozens have died in bombing attacks during Christmas services over the past two years. Church leaders this year are, ‘very worried’ believing that the security situation will not protect Nigerian Christians going to church on Christmas Day. Boko Haram has killed over 770 Nigerians in 2012.

Pray: that the pilgrims abroad and the persecuted at home will be spiritually uplifted this Christmas and for the Nigerian government to do more to protect congregations and thwart violent extremism. (Ps.145:18-20)

More: http://www.persecution.org/2012/12/15/nigerian-christians-fear-attack-on-christmas/

NIGERIA: Inside the lion’s den

The following is a portion of a report from a British-Kenyan who visited Maiduguri: ‘Before the chaos took hold, I remembered Maiduguri as a surprisingly cosmopolitan and peaceful town, with an eclectic mix of people of different faiths, ethnicities, and subcultures; different types of food and music.- ordinary people, with a somewhat royal air, steeped in tradition with a somewhat modern and outward look. During my recent time there, I found a Maiduguri under siege by Boko Haram fighters and the Joint Task Force. The colour described above was replaced by a city enmeshed in road blocks, checkpoint and sandbags on every major road and intersection. The city was patrolled by heavily armed military personnel. We heard bombs exploding, and bullets being fired – followed by the screeching of JTF sirens that seemed to be coming from all directions every 2-3 hours. Father David Bridling, from St Patrick’s Catholic Church said half the Christian inhabitants of Borno State have left.’

Pray: for the tens of thousands who have fled from Maiduguri. May they know God’s provision and protection, especially over this Christmas period. (Ps.11)

More: http://www.informationnigeria.org/2012/12/inside-the-lions-den-of-nigerias-boko-haram.html

NIGERIA: Police and prisoners

Two police officers died when a gunmen attacked a police base in Abuja, enabling five suspected robbers to escape. Suspected robbers and militants from the Boko Haram Islamist group are often held at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars) base. The attack came a day after a double suicide bombing killed 11 people in a church inside a military barracks north of Abuja. Many are wondering how the attackers could have entered the barracks, which houses Nigeria's elite military training centre, without some inside help. The base is near several government buildings and security is normally extremely tight in the area. The militants have a history of attacking prisons and freeing Boko Haram members. Day 17 of the Year of Prayer for Nigeria tells us that contrary to God's word many Nigerians curse the police. See:

Pray: for an improved standard of recruitment of police officers; and ask God to reverse the curses people have placed on the police. Pray blessings, protection and righteousness on them. (1Tim 2:1-4.)

More: http://www.kbc.co.ke/news.asp?nid=79191

Nigeria: Gunmen 'dressed as soldiers' fire in pub

Ten civilians have died after gunmen stormed a pub in central Nigeria's Plateau state and opened fire on customers, authorities say. The attackers wore military uniforms according to eye witness reports, but the army has denied any involvement. ‘You can get camouflage clothes from the market,’ a military spokesman told the BBC Hausa service. Hundreds of people have been killed in Plateau state in recent years in clashes between rival ethnic groups. The state lieson the fault line between a mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian and animist south. As a result rival groups, split along religious, ethnic and political lines, have clashed in the region on numerous occasions over the past decade. The pub shooting took place in the remote village of Heipang in the predominantly Christian Barkin Ladi region, army spokesman Capt Salisu Ibrahim Mustapha said. No responsibility has been claimed for the attack so far.

Pray: against these ongoing attacks by those who hide under the guise of the authorities. (Pr.26:24)

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20512754

Nigeria: Military moves on Niger Delta

Since Sunday there has been a massive military operation as the Nigerian Navy starts flushing out crude oil thieves who are bleeding the country’s oil industry through illegal bunkering. The Navy deployed eight warships, six gunboats and three helicopters, including aircraft used for maritime patrol by the Air Force. Oil theft in the Niger Delta on a daily basis, costs the government five billion US dollars in oil revenue annually. Thieves also engage in social responsibilities by building roads, hospitals, schools and engage in community development projects to protect their interests in local communities. Security sources suspect influential Nigerians are behind the operations of oil thieves who are usually heavily armed. Often the ruptured pipelines are not detected by affected oil companies. Foreign collaborators help the thieves to sell the crude oil and also procure arms which are then smuggled into the country.

Pray: this military operation will not only be successful, but lead to more strategic coordinated action against corruption. (Ps.12:5)

More: http://www.cameroon-tribune.cm/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=71052:nigerian-military-moves-against-oil-thieves&catid=39:politique&Itemid=5

Nigeria: How Boko Haram smuggles weapons

On Wednesday Oct 24th ex-militants in the Niger-Delta reported a secret conduit through which the militant Islamic sect Boko Haram transports weapons/ammunition into the country with the help of a top government official (name withheld) using his influence to circumvent Nigerian Customs. Earlier this year, speaking at a church service marking the 2012 Armed Forces Remembrance Day, President Goodluck Jonathan had said that members of the Islamic sect had infiltrated the three arms of government at the federal level. He confessed that combating Boko Haram was complicated as members of the Boko Haram sect were in the armed forces, the executive, legislature and judiciary. Last Sunday after three days of Islamic attacks against churches and other targets that left dozens dead, hundreds of residents began fleeing north-eastern Nigeria. See: http://www.worthynews.com/11819-nigeria-militants-attack-church-and-other-targets-dozens-killed Boko Haram’s militant campaign and the military response are believed to have left more than 2,800 people dead since 2009.

Pray: that the government will be able to improve security. Pray for protection of soldiers and citizens in crisis-hit areas. (Pr.24:3-4)

More: http://allafrica.com/stories/201210230708.html

Nigeria: Most Sadistic Killers

Nigeria's Boko Haram has been accused of crimes against humanity. In a country where college students are lynched in tough neighbourhoods, the most depraved killers are still not considered terrorists by the State Department. The group is one of the deadliest organizations in Africa, accused of killing at least 1,500 people between June 2009 and September 2012. Its victims are the Police, Christians and Muslims it sees as betraying the true faith. They sabotage oil pipelines, take down automated teller machines and rip up telephone lines in a violent jihad against the West. This week clashes intensified between Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces as the government claimed credit for killing the group’s spokesman. Meanwhile, a series of explosions rocked the northern city of Maiduguri – thought to be more work of Boko Haram. Boko Haram’s name translates into ‘Western education is a sin.’

Pray: that Boko Haram would be designated a terrorist organization and for the world to understand there is a need for more protection of innocent Nigerian lives. (Ps.34:6,7)

More: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/16/nigeria-s-most-sadistic-killers-why-is-boko-haram-not-designated-a-terrorist-group.html

Nigeria: Army 'opens fire on civilians' in Maiduguri

Nigerian troops have opened fire and burnt buildings in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri, reportedly killing 30 civilians. The shootings came after a bomb blast targeting the army had injured two soldiers. On Sunday, the army said it killed 30 Boko Haram members in another north-eastern city, Damaturu. Eyewitnesses in Maiduguri said soldiers began to indiscriminately open fire on residents and set fire to homes and businesses. An Associated Press reporter in the city reportedly counted 30 bodies and 50 buildings that had been set ablaze. Unnamed nurses at the local Umaru Shehu Hospital were quoted by Reuters News Agency as saying that 30 bodies in civilian clothes had been brought in, with a further five corpses in military uniforms. ‘Initially, soldiers that came after the explosion harassed residents, whipping them,’ one person told AFP News Agency. ‘But later they went on a shooting spree and started setting homes and shops on fire.’

Pray: for peace across this nation that those who kill and maim from each side be stopped and that peace would reign. (Ps.34:14)

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-19875391

Nigerian Christians in the Diaspora

Updated October 2013

NIGERIAN CHRISTIANS IN THE DIASPORA

Isa 62:6-7

“O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls;
they will pray day and night, continually.
Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord.
Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work,
until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth.” NLT

Dear Compatriots,

We bring you greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray that this letter meets you well.

As you may be aware, Nigeria has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons: widespread insecurity, bombings and killings by Boko Haram mainly targeting churches and Christians; widespread corruption and fraud; high unemployment resulting in frustration and crime among the youths; falling educational standards; prevalence of ritual killings and occultism; kidnap and rape, just to mention a few. The CIA and other western organisations had predicted that Nigeria may be a failed state by 2015. Unfortunately, events are conspiring to bring this negative prophecy to pass!

Nigeria: Gunmen kill Mubi students

At least 20 people, mostly students, were killed by unknown gunmen in north-eastern Nigeria at a student hostel. One Mubi resident said more than 40 students had been killed but there is no official death toll. The killing comes days after a major operation against the Boko Haram militant group in the town. BBC Nigeria correspondent Will Ross says mobile phone masts in the area were recently attacked by the militants, so getting information from Mubi is difficult. 'Everybody is scared.' A resident who did not want his name to be used told the BBC that men in military uniform asked the students to line up and say their names. Some were then shot and others stabbed with knives and their bodies left in lines outside the buildings. He said it is not clear why some were killed and others spared. Some of those killed were Muslims and others Christian.

Pray: for all those living in fear in Nigeria to have a sense of God's presence in their lives daily, pray for Nigeria to come into the inheritance that God has provided for her. (Ps.27:13-4) & (Ps.35:20-23)

More:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19801814

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”.

If my people...

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