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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

Nigeria: Suicide bombing hits another church

An extremist ran a car full of explosives at Christ’s Chosen Church of God in Jos on Sunday morning, killing at least two and injuring 40+. The attack was the second suicide bombing of a church in two Sundays and the third church bombing in Jos in six months. It happened after the service ended. A pastor, church elders and some children remained in the sanctuary at the moment the bomb was detonated, collapsing the roof of the sanctuary. The death toll was expected to increase as injuries were severe. Also on Sunday in Borno State gunmen killed at least two Christians during church worship. The Boko Haram Islamic sect took responsibility for both assaults. A witness said the extremist was seen trying to bomb St Peter’s Catholic Church and the Evangelical Church Winning All, but could not gain entry. Each of these two churches and the bombed church are in the same road.

Pray:for the injured, bereaved and their families, pray also against the ideologies behind these attacks, and against the desire to de-stabilize the government through violence. (Ps.42:4)

More: http://www.compassdirect.org/english/country/nigeria/article_1596552.html

Nigeria: Blast wreaks bloodshed on two Churches in Bauchi

A suicide bomber crashed the gate of a church compound in this northern Nigerian city this morning, killing himself and at least 10 others and leaving more than 30 injured, according to eyewitnesses and officials. The Islamic extremist Boko Haram group was suspected of detonating the bomb at the gate of Living Faith Church as members were leaving an early morning worship service. The explosion also brought down a wall of the adjacent Harvest Field church, an eyewitness told Compass. ‘Security agents who were within the vicinity of the two churches tried to force the suicide bomber to stop at a security checkpoint, but the bomber crashed his car into the gates of one of the two churches, the Living Faith church, killing many people and injuring many others,’ said Kyemme Nzarmo, a student at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in Bauchi.

Pray: for peace in Nigeria, that God would enable a breakthrough and that extremists will cease their atrocities. (Ps.34:14)


Nigeria: Help needed to fight militants

Chad's leader has called for the urgent creation of a regional force to tackle Nigerian Boko Haram militants. The Islamist group operates in northern Nigeria, but President Idriss Deby said it was posing a threat to its neighbours around Lake Chad. ‘Our basin is exposed to insecurity because of the permanent threat posed by Boko Haram,’ he said. Nigeria has been struggling to contain attacks by the militants who want to impose Islamic law in the country. Barnabas Fund reported Tuesday that around 300 Christians have been killed in one diocese in the past three weeks. Last Sunday 3 church services in Northern Nigeria were targeted leaving 27 dead. See:

Pray: for the creation of a joint African deterrence force to protect the Christian community in Nigeria. (Ps.17:8-9)

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17906504

Nigeria: Call for protection of Christians

The Nigerian government must do more to protect Christians after another church was targeted over the weekend, an advocacy group has said. (see last weeks Prayer-Alert 15-2012) Suspicion for responsibility has fallen on Boko Haram. The Christian Association of Nigeria recently said it believes that Boko Haram, which means ‘Western education is sacrilege’ intends to ‘exterminate’ Nigeria’s Christian population. The Rev Yunusa Nmadu, chief executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria called upon the international community and the US administration in particular to declare Boko Haram a terrorist group ‘because this is what it is in reality.’ He also appealed to the Nigerian government to ensure adequate protection for Christians ‘as they are the main targets and regular victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.’ Christian Solidarity Worldwide said the burden of security should not be left to individuals.

Pray: for the international community to provide counter-insurgency training for the army and police and may God give them the wisdom to prevent further bloodshed. (Pr.1:5)

More: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/call.for.protection.of.christians.after.nigeria.suicide.bombing/29647.htm

Nigeria: Projects to unite Christians and Muslims


An ecumenical organization, the Fellowship of Churches of Christ in Nigeria, said it plans to establish small business and agricultural enterprises that will bring Christians and Muslims together in the troubled north-central part of Nigeria. ‘We believe that projects jointly owned by Christians and Muslims would bridge the relationship gap between them,’ said Helen Philemon Haggai, co-ordinator of the fellowship's peace desk. The projects, Haggai said, ‘will focus on establishment of farms that will provide employment opportunities for Christian and Muslim youths. These farms will enable them to produce crops like potatoes, tomatoes and vegetables like lotus and cabbages. This will provide food for their families and at the same time, provide them with incomes. In addition, water projects like boreholes can provide safe drinking water for Muslim and Christian communities’. Furthermore, Haggai said, ‘a skills acquisition centre will be established for the training of both Christian and Muslim youths and widows.’

Praise: God for this initiative and pray that working together will lead to peace. (Ez.37:26)

More: http://www.eni.ch/featured/article.php?id=4894

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