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Nigeria: Boko Haram victims recount woes

An official and others wept in Abuja after listening to the pastor of All Saints Church recount how 17 Christians were killed for refusing to renounce Jesus Christ. People also heard from Deborah Shetima whose husband was butchered last April, that her two children (7and 9 years-old) were abducted, then Boko Haram returned three months later and killed her third child. The Minister said, ‘If we have become a nation that does not put value on human lives then we are really in a bad place. Listening to these women and seeing what they have to carry alone one feels a sense of abandonment for them. They are invisible to the rest of us - that worries me. We must figure out who we really are; and what have we become as a people and as a nation.’ Also church leaders in NE Nigeria are saying Christians are scared to leave their homes after 8pm and too afraid of Islamic extremist attacks to attend church services. See: http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2013/s13030003.htm

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.punchng.com/news/ezekwezili-others-weep-as-bharam-victims-recount-woes/

Nigeria: Appeal for Prayers

Christians are being asked to pray for Nigeria after a weekend of deadly attacks. Six people died when gunmen attacked the predominantly Christian village of Aduwan Gida in the Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA) of Southern Kaduna on 23 February. The victims were villagers who had gathered to mourn the death of an elderly member of the community. The gunmen attacked the group at around 10pm. Victims reportedly included a mother and her six-month-old baby. The injured are being treated in hospitals in Kaduna and Plateau States Christian Solidarity Worldwide-Nigeria, said the attack resembled those by Boko Haram in recent years. ‘It is unfortunate that after the announcement of a ceasefire by elements of Boko Haram, we are still experiencing attacks resembling their style of operations,’ he said. 'We ask for continuing prayers for Nigeria and urge churches to be vigilant with regard to security, particularly as the Easter period approaches.’

Pray: for the relatives of all families murdered by ‘unknown attackers’ across Nigeria, may they know God’s peace and comfort. Pray also for security forces to give adequate protection. (Ps.23:4)

More: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/appeal.for.prayers.for.nigeria.after.deadly.attacks/31718.htm

Nigeria: 'The Nigerian Taliban'

More than 3,000 people have been killed since 2009 by Boko Haram, a northern-based extremist group once known as the Nigerian Taliban. John Onaiyekan, Roman Catholic Cardinal Archbishop of Abuja, warned that the violence perpetrated by the extremist group is threatening the Muslim-Christian harmony in Nigeria with gun and bomb attacks against churches, schools, police stations, military facilities, newspaper offices and even the UN buildings. Militants also raid Christian homes demanding conversion to Islam or death. These attacks and massacres have fuelled concerns among Nigerian Christians and the cardinal said, ‘it becomes extremely difficult to convince the Christians that not all Muslims are killing our people, and that there are many Muslims who are sorry for what is happening to Christians.’ Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa, yet more than half its population lives on less than $1 a day.

Pray: against militant groups feeding off rampant poverty and corruption as they recruit the poorest people into violence. May the government officials change their policies and revert to good governance. (Ex.23:6,7)

More: http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-muslim-harmony-in-nigeria-in-jeopardy-amid-attacks-by-islamic-extremists-89770/

NIGERIA: North Korean doctors and evangelists killed

Boko Haram killed three North Korean doctors in the latest attack on health workers. The deaths on Saturday night come after gunmen killed at least nine women administering polio vaccines in Kano. Some believe Boko Haram are picking soft targets in its campaign of shootings and bombings across the country. The North Korean doctors had lived in the state since 2005 as part of a medical programme. They were attacked inside their home (which had no security guards; they also travelled without police escort). When soldiers arrived at the house they found two of the men had their throats slit, the other was decapitated. Also Church of the Brethren Newsline reported 15 people killed and 8 sustaining gunshot wounds in an attack on a church at the beginning of the month. The church building and the pastor’s office were burned down, along with some houses belonging to Christians.

Pray: against Boko Haram - whose name means ‘western education is sacrilege,’ pray for Christians working in Nigeria’s health systems, pray also for the families of the deceased. (Ps.2:1-2,12b)

More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/10/south-korea-doctors-nigeria-killed

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

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