While the violence directed against Christians in northern Nigeria lately has been at the hands of the Islamic insurgent group Boko Haram, previous attacks against Christian villages were perpetrated by members of the nomadic Fulani herdsmen. The Fulani are traditionally Muslim and resent the encroachment of Christian settlements on land they use for grazing their cattle. They consider Christians as infidels that should be exterminated. Going back further into Nigeria’s history we get a glimpse of a root of division and animosity that todays challenges may stem from. In 1809 the North of Nigeria was established as a single powerful Islamic state that existed throughout the 1800s. Meanwhile in the south between 1830s-1886 civil wars plagued the Yorubaland speaking region. In 1960 Nigeria gained independence from Britain and an amalgamation of more than 200 tribes was divided into three regions based on the three major ethnic groups. Ethnicity and religion still play a huge role in Nigerian politics.
Pray: for God to remove violent spiritual roots that have been allowed to grow in the nation; pray that every altar raised against God’s purposes for Nigeria shall fail. (1Jn.3:8)