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NIGERIA: Factors fuelling fighting

Violence is intensifying in Nigeria. A Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies, said that although religion remains a divisive issue conflict occurs when ethnic, religious and economic boundaries coincide - as these factors are interconnected. Nigeria is Africa's most populous country, (165 million people) ethnic and economic differences are widespread, (350 different ethnic groups) with agricultural careers ranging from farmers to herders. It's split nearly evenly between southern Christians and northern Muslims. There are claims and counter-claims with too many spokespeople from each religion regarding each other with disdain. Nigeria is tottering on the brink. The question is whether or not it will fall off. However, Christianity in the country is huge, vibrant and growing and intercessors need to be concerned about Boko Haram disrupting the peace of Nigeria and the possibility of civil war. Nigeria sends thousands of missionaries throughout Africa. For that to be disrupted would hinder the spread of the Gospel throughout the continent.

Pray: for God’s power to work through all agencies working towards peace, and may the Church continue to grow in power, wisdom and authority. (Pr.8:15-18)

More: http://www.christianpost.com/news/understanding-nigerias-raging-christian-muslim-conflict-65847/

NIGERIA: Boko Haram militants suspected of deadly attacks

Suspected Islamists have been blamed for the deaths of at least 23 people in separate attacks in north-eastern Nigeria. Witnesses say gunmen apparently targeted hunters selling bush meat in Damboa on Monday, killing 18 people. Strict Muslims are forbidden to eat this type of bush meat. Another five people died on Tuesday when a group of men playing draughts was attacked in Kano. The militant group Boko Haram, which is fighting to create an Islamic state, has staged many attacks in Nigeria. Boko Haram has been blamed for the deaths of some 1,400 people in central and northern Nigeria since 2010. Last year alone, the group was linked to more than 600 deaths. Meanwhile, reports have emerged of a deadly attack in Kano, the main city in northern Nigeria. Gunmen riding on motorbikes opened fire on people playing an outdoor board game, police and witnesses say. Gambling is also strictly forbidden under Islamic law.

Pray: against the evil influence that fanatics like Boko Haram have in the communities. (Ps.37:9)

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21152122

NIGERIA: President says Islamists won't stop godly worship

The president of Nigeria said: ‘The Church is one of the main targets’ of terrorist attacks by the radical Islamic group Boko Haram. ‘If the idea of Boko Haram is to stop Nigerians from worshipping God, they will not succeed,’ President Goodluck Jonathan told parishioners at a church in Nigeria's capital Sunday. Gunmen suspected of belonging to Boko Harem have attacked a Nigerian village in the last week. They rounded up men, women, and children and killed at least 15. The Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans has been urging the United States to label Boko Haram a foreign terrorist organization, a move that could hurt its funding and support. However, while US State Department is considering the request, so far, the Department hasn't decided if labelling the group that way is the most effective way to deal with them. Boko Haram is blamed for killing nearly 800 people in 2012 alone, according to the Associated Press.

Pray: that the prayers of God’s people will hold back those that worship other gods. (Ps.81:9)

More: http://www.openheaven.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=42436&PN=1&TPN=1

NIGERIA: Huge fire in slum area of Lagos

A massive fire has ripped through one of the poorest suburbs in Lagos, burning down dozens of ramshackle homes and workshops in Ebute Metta community, along the Lagos lagoon where sawmills process timber. The huge blaze was the second major one in the city in recent weeks. On Boxing Day a massive explosion ripped through a warehouse full of fireworks in a crowded neighbourhood in Lagos Island. Fire remains a major danger in Nigeria, where many people store gasoline and diesel in their homes to run generators for electricity.

Pray: for those who have lost everything, with no means to regain an income or a home.

More: http://news.sky.com/story/1035313/huge-fire-rages-through-lagos-lagoon-slum

24-7 Prayer Chain

Many churches have signed up to our 'adopt a day' initiative, whereby they commit to pray for 24 hours, one day a month during the Year of Transformational Prayer for Nigeria.

If you would like to sign up your church, prayer group or ministry, please get in touch.

Click the Read More link below to see the sign-ups to date.


NIGERIA: 36 killed over Christmas

Attackers stormed a church in Kyachi village, Chibok, and shot 15 people on Sunday in the latest violence against Christians. Nigeria’s military downplayed the incident, but the official who spoke of the attack is the regional coordinator for the country’s National Emergency Management Agency. The attack followed violence on Friday when attackers slit the throats of 15 Christians in a pre-dawn raid in Musari, also in the north-east. Musari and Chibok are located in Nigeria’s Borno state, where Boko Haram has been based. During a Christmas Eve service gunmen killed six people in north-eastern Yobe state, then they set the building ablaze. Violence linked to Boko Haram’s insurgency in northern and central Nigeria is believed to have left some 3,000 people dead since 2009. While the violence has been severe in certain areas this Christmas season, it has been less bloody than in 2011.

Pray: for President Goodluck Jonathan as he attempts to end Boko Haram tyranny, pray also for the Church to be strengthened and encouraged during 2013. (Ps.68:28)

More: http://dawn.com/2013/01/01/attackers-kill-15-at-nigerian-church-rescue-official/

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

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