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Nigeria: Trump Honours Muslim Cleric Who Saved 262 Christians From Death

"The Trump administration honored a Nigerian Muslim Imam last week among its first-ever International Religious Freedom Award winners for his efforts that saved hundreds of Christians during a 2018 terrorist attack," reports LifeSiteNews.

"Imam Abubakar Abdullahi of Nigeria selflessly risked his own life to save members of another religious community, who would have likely been killed without his intervention," the proclamation from the U.S. Department of State said.

More than 60 dead as Boko Haram extremists target funeral in Nigeria

The latest atrocity is believed to be in retaliation to an incident when villagers fought off a Boko Haram attack two weeks ago.

The attack on civilians is the deadliest in the region so far this year.

Eleven other people were wounded during the midday attack in Budu near Maiduguri on Saturday, according to Muhammad Bulama, council chairman of the Nganzai local government area.

Bunu Bukar, secretary of self-defence group Borno Hunters Association, said the extremists were on motorbikes and opened fire on villagers.

He added that his colleagues had recovered nearly two dozen bodies.

Nigeria: pregnant mother among five Christians killed

Muslim Fulani herdsmen are attacking churches in north-central Nigeria and crippling productive activities. Attacks have heightened, with one village or another attacked nearly every day. The most recent attack reported in the media was in Jos where a pregnant mother of two and three other Christians were killed by Fulanis. They also attacked other Christian communities, burning down 75 houses with food stores and two church buildings. The herdsmen beheaded a church elder after killing him. ‘We have been experiencing daily attacks by these Fulani herdsmen in our communities, most especially on Sundays during worship hours or Thursdays when church activities are held,’ said a pastor. The herdsmen also destroyed farm produce worth millions of naira, and a lot of domestic animals were killed in the attacks. Christians make up 51.3% of Nigeria’s population; Muslims account for 45%.

Pray: for God to protect vulnerable villages and comfort all who have lost loved ones, livelihoods and homes. Pray also for the Fulani to be challenged by the Gospel so as to come to Christ. (Psalm 94:19)

More: morningstarnews.org/2019/07/pregnant-mother-among-five-christians-slain-in-north-central-nigeria/

Nigeria suicide blast kills 30 at video hall in Borno

At least 30 people have been killed in a triple suicide bombing outside a video hall in north-eastern Nigeria, emergency service officials say.

Another 40 were injured in the attack in Konduga village in Borno State, the officials said.

There are conflicting report about whether the blast occurred while people were watching football or a film.

Militant Islamist group Boko Haram is being blamed for the attack. There was no immediate comment from the group.

Formed in Borno State, the group has waged a brutal insurgency across the north-east for a decade.

Niger: Boko Haram violence against Christians

Boko Haram warned Christians, ‘You have three days to go or you will be killed!’ So rural families fled to Diffa city. Islamist militias have killed dozens and displaced thousands in the Diffa region of Niger, according to UN officials. There are an estimated 200,000 displaced people in Niger:  those displaced internally, and also many who are fleeing the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. Niger’s church ministers working close to zones of conflict are now taking refuge with other Christians in the relative safety of Niamey, the capital. This means that no minister now lives in the premises of the church in these dangerous areas. An observer said, ‘I do not know how the services take place every Sunday, but the churches are not closed’. Earlier this month the governor of the Diffa region ordered churches to close due to the threat of terrorist attacks.

Pray: for adequate policing so that this spike in violence ends. (Psalm 91:4)

More: http://barnabasfund.org/en/news/%E2%80%9Cyou-have-three-days-to-go-or-you-will-be-killed%E2%80%9D-boko-haram-tells-christians-in-niger

Nigeria: Christian persecution growing

Mrs Adeleye and her stepson, Destiny Paul, were driving home from church on 9 June when Fulani herdsmen blocked the road with cows. She tried to turn their car and escape but they attacked, damaged her car, and abducted them both the boy. They later demanded N10 million ransom from her husband. The police said they had swung into action, and would soon get the victims free, unhurt. Attacks on Christians in Nigeria are growing in ferocity and frequency according to Father John Bakeni, a priest who works with survivors of extremist violence. He said, ’The ongoing conflict with Boko Haram and attacks by predominantly Islamist Fulani shepherds have instilled great uncertainty and fear in us Nigerians. We consider each day we live in safety a blessing, because we do not know what will happen the next day.’ He added, ‘It is very difficult to be a Christian in this part of the world, but our faith encourages us to bear witness to the Gospel bravely.’ See

Pray: for the people in rural areas, no longer able to cultivate their fields. Pray that the government will be more successful against the extremist groups. (Psalm 103:5,6)

More: http://acnuk.org/news/attacks-on-nigerias-christians-are-growing/

Story that inspired a ministry

‘My husband Todd and I were serving at an orphanage. The kids hadn't had meat in a year so we made them hamburgers. I noticed the pre-schoolers kept coming back for more before disappearing. I was curious, so I followed them. The children were hiding the burgers underneath their mattresses for another day. I called my husband over, and that was a defining moment for both of us. We couldn't un-see that scene, we knew that we were called to ministry.’ In 1997 Beth and her husband saved, took a year's leave of absence from work and moved to Mexico to start their orphanage. Today, Back2Back Ministries is an international orphan care ministry serving abandoned, orphaned and impoverished children in Mexico, Nigeria, India and Haiti.

Praise: God for Beth and Tod’s obedience to His call on their lives. (Zechariah 4:10)

More: https://www.gospelherald.com/articles/71980/20190515/found-global-orphan-care-ministry-shares-heartbreaking-story-inspired-mission.htm

Changing face of mission

In the eighteenth century mission agencies were established, recruiting missionaries and mobilising mission across continents. Later, a new generation of pioneers took the gospel into regions of unreached people. But Christians realised that many were still isolated from the gospel by cultural and language barriers. Then mother tongue evangelists appeared. Work progressed, identifying more unreached peoples and taking the gospel to them. Globally, churches became significant missionary senders. Former pioneer areas like South Korea, Nigeria, India, Brazil and the Philippines sent missionaries into the world. Today, local churches have cross-cultural opportunities on their doorstep. Translators are using modern technology to interpret the gospel into other languages in a matter of months. The same work previously took years to complete. Satellite TV broadcasts into closed countries, and the Church continues to rise to the challenge of taking the gospel to the whole world.

Praise: God for amazing growth of cross-cultural ministry opportunities and resources. (Matthew 24:14)

More: http://docs.google.com/document/d/10wQTR3ROs9vTVCzaPvNVAzpk8GkjJOeVXJzQtDKuWdA/edit

Nigeria: 894 children released

Since 2012, non-state armed groups in north-east Nigeria have recruited and used children as combatants and non-combatants, raped and forced girls to marry, and committed other grave violations against children. Some of the girls become pregnant in captivity and give birth without any medical care or attention. Recently 894 of these children, including 106 girls, were released from the ranks of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria, as part of its commitment to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children. The CJTF is a local militia helping Nigerian security forces fight against insurgency by protecting communities from attack. The children will now be helped to return to normal civilian life and learn vocational skills. Pray for the children who have borne the brunt of this conflict, witnessing killing and violence, resulting in serious implications for their physical and emotional well-being.

Pray: for God to bless the work to repair communities and bring lasting peace. (1 Samuel 25:33)

More: http://www.unicef.org/nigeria/press-releases/nearly-900-children-released-armed-group-north-east-nigeria

Nigeria: British aid worker killed

Mercy Corps posted on their twitter account, ‘It is with great sorrow that we share heartbreaking news: Faye Mooney, our communication specialist in Nigeria, was killed in an attack in Kaduna state on Good Friday. Our entire organisation is grieving with her family during this difficult time.’ Nigeria’s president, Bukola Saraki, has tweeted his reaction to the killing: ‘My heartfelt prayers go out to all the families affected by Friday’s attack in Kaduna. Deep condolences to the government of the United Kingdom and Mercy Corps, over the death of the British aid worker, Faye Mooney, who was killed in the attack.’ He added, ‘It is my fervent hope that our security officials do everything in their power to rescue those that were abducted, so that they can be reunited with their loved ones as soon as possible.’

Pray: for the government to reinforce security for all humanitarian and development workforces, whose presence and activities are increasingly challenged in Nigeria. (Psalm 5:11b)

More: http://dailypost.ng/2019/04/22/kajuru-saraki-reacts-killing-briton-kaduna/

Nigeria: five years since Chibok girls taken

Five years ago, 230 girls were abducted in Chibok by Boko Haram. Parents whose daughters have not yet returned say it still feels like a ‘fresh wound’ but refuse to give up hope. Boko Haram set classrooms ablaze and told the girls they were under attack while they pretended to protect them. They herded them into trucks, drove into the forest and subjected them to rape, pregnancy, violence, and death. Those who did not obey militants or refused to renounce their Christian faith were punished severely; there are suggestions that some of them were forced to become Boko Haram fighters and commit murders for the group. 165 of the girls belonged to the Nigerian Church of the Brethren. Pray for parents like Yana, whose daughter has not returned. ‘Any time I speak about Rifkatu, I feel so much pain in my heart’, she said. ‘When she was kidnapped, laughter ceased in my house.’

Pray: for God to keep the families strong, and make it possible for girls who are still alive to return homes and be rehabilitated into their families after their trauma. (Genesis 49:25)

More: www.premierchristianradio.com/News/World/I-feel-so-much-pain-in-my-heart-5-years-since-Chibok-girls-were-taken

Nigeria: abducted for her gender, enslaved for her faith

Esther refused to deny her faith when she was abducted by Boko Haram as a teenager. She was forced to marry one of the militants and faced horrific abuse at his hands. Soon she became pregnant. When she finally escaped and returned to her village, her community mocked her for being a ‘Boko Haram woman’. Even her own relatives called her daughter ‘Boko’, not Rebecca. There are thousands of women like Esther, who are doubly at risk of persecution, both because of their gender and because of their faith in Jesus. We, the global church, cannot allow the persecution facing our sisters to go unseen and ignored. We can pray for an increase in resources to be available for those who are giving them support and hope for the future God has prepared for them.

Pray: for God's healing for all those with mental and physical scars. (Psalm 71:20)

More: www.opendoorsuk.org/act/donate/1903-4-womens-campaign/?

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