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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/

Global: terrorism - 2

A few militants defending a Syrian river bank are all that is left of IS’s ‘caliphate’. 40,000 foreigners from 110 countries joined it; many have gone home, creating security challenges. Thousands are in Kurdish detention camps awaiting relocations. Distinguishing between regretful and repentant hangers-on and truly dangerous fighters is a legal and political nightmare, creating relationship cracks between Europe and US. Meanwhile IS’s black flag flies over an enclave on the Philippine island of Basilan, where a cathedral was bombed. IS-linked groups are still active in Nigeria, Sudan, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and stretches of northern Africa and the Sahel. While they may not have access to the oil revenues that enabled IS to claim to be an actual state, they remain a security threat. IS is also alive and well on the web, with gruesome and well-produced propaganda.

Pray: for God to touch and turn around misguided violent hearts. (Ezekiel 36:26)

More: us12.campaign-archive.com/?e=2b376728db&u=7404e6dcdc8018f49c82e941d&id=92acd321b5

Nigeria: Christians sue the government

Rev Solomon Mfa and ten other Christian leaders filed a suit against the Nigerian government at the West African States Court of Justice, which has jurisdiction over human rights issues in the area. On 26 February the court ordered the government to investigate attacks that killed 300+ Christians and destroyed property; identify and prosecute the perpetrators; and redress the victims. ‘The government is in violation of its obligation to protect the human rights of these communities,’ the three judges stated in their unanimous verdict. The court also ordered the government to take urgent measures to protect Christians in the area by deploying soldiers and police to the affected communities. In the past three years, Muslim Fulani attacks have killed 1,000 people and destroyed property in 15 counties.

Pray: for the government to end ethno-religious cleansing, to move swiftly to reimburse and protect Christians. and to prosecute all law breakers. (Luke 18:7,8a)

More: morningstarnews.org/2019/03/west-african-court-faults-government-of-nigeria-for-failing-to-stop-killings-in-benue-state/

London protest on anniversary of Leah's abduction

On 19 February CSW organised a protest outside Nigeria’s high commission in London, commemorating one year since the abduction of Leah Sharibu. 14-year-old Leah was the sole Christian among 110 girls abducted from their school in Dapchi by a Boko Haram offshoot. While all the other classmates were released the next month following government negotiations, Leah was denied her freedom as she refused to convert as a precondition for her freedom. She has been held in captivity ever since. In September 2018, Boko Haram issued a final ultimatum on her life after executing a fellow hostage. She was eventually spared, but only after the group executed another hostage and declared that Leah and an abducted humanitarian named Alice Ngaddah were to be their slaves for life.

Pray: for Nigeria’s government to secure the release of Leah and Alice, and of the 112 girls kidnapped from Chibok. (Psalm 109:21)

More: www.indcatholicnews.com/news/36566

Europe: Huawei and 5G security

President Trump wants Europe to ban Chinese tech giant Huawei from their next-generation 5G information networks, citing security risks (giving China power inside telecommunication networks where they could modify or steal information or conduct undetected espionage). US secretary of state Mike Pompeo warned of consequences for countries that don’t toe Washington’s line on the issue. Nevertheless, Germany may allow Huawei to operate in its 5G network plans, and the UK thinks the security risks of using Huawei resources are manageable. Huawei set out ambitious plans for Europe at a festive evening to mark the beginning of the Chinese New Year. ‘Europe is like a big, lively family. We feel happy to be a part of it, and look forward to growing together with it,’ said a Huawei representative. See

Pray: for Europe’s transition to the fifth generation of mobile networks to be secure. (Psalm 15:1,2)

More: huawei.eu/e-news/2019/02/index.html

Nigeria: election postponed, pastor murdered

President Buhari said that the independent National Electoral Commission has questions to answer over the postponement of the general election to 23 February. He warned those planning to snatch ballot boxes that they will pay with their life. Open Doors said, ‘For Nigerian Christians, elections draw attention to a long-term crisis and can intensify attacks on them. Christians are fearful because they have been targeted so often.’ The most recent was when Pastor Jatau’s car was ambushed and he and his family were dragged away. His body was found two days later but his wife, three children, and two sisters-in-law are missing. Kidnappers are demanding a ransom for the family. They were travelling to take up a new ministry when they were attacked. See

Pray: for security agencies to protect the vulnerable, and for the election to be fair and without violence. (Psalm 9:19)

More: www.vanguardngr.com/2019/02/postponement-of-polls-inec-has-questions-to-answer-buhari/

619 new Bible translation projects in 2019

Wycliffe Associates is advancing Bible translation and has received requests to launch 619 translation projects worldwide, including groups in DRC, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Nigeria. ‘When they hear that the entire New Testament can now be translated in just months through ground-breaking technology, they are astonished, and they plead for a chance,’ said Wycliffe’s CEO. Traditionally, translations of the New Testament into another language have taken as long as 25 to 30 years. Pray for God's protection over Bible translation workshops for mother-tongue speakers, and for adequate funding for technology resources. Pray for God to keep translators safe when working discreetly in places where Christians face intense persecution. To date, the organisation has installed 90 print-on-demand units in 31 countries. By God’s grace they have distributed 5,485 tablets in 67 countries so far.

Pray: for the millions of people around the world still waiting for Scriptures in their language to have their needs met speedily and safely. ( Acts 20:32)

More: www.wycliffeassociates.org/who-we-are/for-the-press/press-release/694

Nigeria: elections on 16 Feb and 2 March

Rev Mathew Sukada, from Jos, has cautioned Nigerians, ‘Do not kill yourselves over politicians; they do not even know you and will reconcile with each other long after you are gone’. He said some politicians were more concerned about their personal interests, and cautioned youths against being used as thugs to kill and destroy. ‘Politicians seeking to use you for selfish reasons will offer you peanuts to fight and kill for them. When you get killed, they won’t remember you. When you get injured, they won’t have time for you. When you are caught, they will deny you. You must learn to be wise and protect yourselves against destruction. As Christians, you have a duty to serve only God, your Creator.’ An army commander told troops, ‘Let me warn and remind you of the need to remain apolitical in the performance of your duties during the election period. Defaulters will be severely dealt with. You must be professional, patriotic and respectful of the rights of citizens.’ See

Pray: for peace in crisis-ridden areas, and for responsible leaders to be elected. (Proverbs 3:21)

More: www.legit.ng/1219671-elections-dont-kill-yourselves-politicians-catholic-priest-advises-nigerians.html

Nigeria: Boko Haram threat displaces 30,000

Fear of renewed attacks by Boko Haram is prompting the exodus of 30,000+ people from the town of Rann. UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch told reporters in Geneva on 29 January that the town's population ‘seems to be panicking; they are on the run as a pre-emptive measure to save their lives.’ Rann, near the border with Cameroon in northern Borno state, has already seen an exodus of 9,000 people to Cameroon after a Boko Haram attack on 14 January, killing 14 people. Baloch said that Cameroon had sent back the 9,000 refugees, and initially deployed troops as part of a multinational task force to protect the town, but that task force has now left. A recent upsurge in violence in northeastern Nigeria has driven more than 80,000 civilians to seek refuge in already crowded camps or in towns in Borno state, ‘where they are surviving in tough living conditions’. The hostilities have strained humanitarian operations there and forced aid workers to pull out from some locations.

Pray: for God’s comfort to all living in fear, or in desperate need in refugee camps. (Psalm 37:40)

More: www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/boko-haram-threat-displaces-30000-nigeria-rann-town-190129112148918.html

Global: Christian persecution rising

Figures for the persecution of Christians have shown a 'shocking increase', by 13.9% according to Open Doors World Watch List 2019. Asia has a sharp rise. China rose 16 places to number 27, with new laws to control all expressions of religion. Some church leaders say it is the worst since the Cultural Revolution ended in 1976. India, the world's largest democracy, is now number 10 on the list. Hindu extremists act with impunity, violently attacking Christians and churches and non-Hindu religious minorities. Rising nationalism is leading to persecution in Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal, where national identity is tied to religion and those from minority faiths are considered outcasts. Persecution in North Korea has been worse than any other country for the last 18 years. In the north and middle of Nigeria, 3,700 Christians were killed for their faith - almost twice as many as the previous year.

Pray: for nations to take extra preventative action against rising Christian persecution. (Job 36:3)

More: www.christiantoday.com/article/open-doors-2019-report-persecution-is-on-the-rise-globally/131479.htm

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