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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/?

Nigeria: 120 Christians killed in Three Weeks

The recent death toll of Christians in Nigeria has reached 120 with this week’s slaughter of more than 50 by Fulani Muslim militants in the Kaduna state of Nigeria, the Christian Post reported.

The Fulani jihadists, who have become a greater threat to Nigerian Christians than the Islamist terror group Boko Haram, stormed the villages of Inkirimi, Dogonnoma, and Ungwan Gora in the Kajuru Local Government Area last Monday, destroying 143 homes, killing 52 people, and wounding dozens more.

The assailants reportedly split into three groups, the first of which fired upon the people, the second set fire to buildings, and the third chased down people fleeing from the scene. Victims of the assault included women and children.

God rescues 72 from firing squad

In Nigeria, Boko Haram captured 76 Muslim-background Christians. Four men were told at gunpoint to renounce Christ and revert to Islam. When they refused, they were shot in front of their families. Later the men’s wives were ordered to renounce Christ, or their children would be executed the next day. In the morning the children ran in, saying Jesus told them in the night that ‘all would be well’. Then Jesus appeared to them all and told them He would protect them. When the mothers again refused to renounce Christianity their children were lined up against a wall. As the soldiers took aim they suddenly grabbed their heads, screaming ‘Snakes!’ Some ran away, others dropped dead. A captive grabbed a gun and was about to fire at the fleeing militants but a child put her hand on his arm and said, ‘You don’t need to do that. Can’t you see the men in white fighting for us?’

Praise: God for revealing His power, As they share this testimony, may many have their faith in God’s grace and love grow. (Jeremiah 1:8)

More: barnabasfund.org/en/news/gods-intervention-saves-72-captive-nigerian-christians-from-boko-haram-firing-squad

Slavery in the UK

The Government estimates that tens of thousands of people are slaves in the UK. Most are trafficked from Albania, Vietnam, Nigeria, Romania and Poland. There are also significant numbers of British national slaves. Forced labour is in agriculture, construction, hospitality, manufacturing, and car washes. Women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation or domestic slavery. Children are forced into cannabis production, petty theft and begging. In 2009 the Government set up a mechanism to which potential cases were referred to access relevant support. It wasn’t fit for purpose. Slavery victims were not supported, and traffickers got away with their crimes. A new Modern Slavery Act was introduced in 2015. Research has found that the number of potential victims of trafficking and modern slavery reported to the authorities has risen by over 80% in two years, and the number of modern slavery cases involving UK children is alarming. See

Pray: for improvements in detection and apprehension of slave masters in the UK. (Proverbs 21:15)

More: www.antislavery.org/slavery-today/slavery-uk/

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