NIGERIA IDOP PRAYER FOCUS AS CHRISTIAN ATTACKS GROW
Nigeria focus for International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP), Nov 18.
Nigerian Christians continue to be rocked by attacks by Islamist militants, including heavily armed herdsmen who slaughter villagers and drive them from their homes. The latest attacks claimed the lives of more than 50 in a market, as well as Christian farmers.
Release International, which supports persecuted Christians throughout the world, has made Nigeria the focus of this year’s International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on November 18.
According to a Release partner in Nigeria: ‘In the first six months of 2018, some 6,000 people have been killed and close to 50,000 displaced. The escalation of killings is very clear.’
Another Release partner, Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi, has repeatedly called for the government to protect Christians in northern Nigeria against the increasing attacks: ‘I am raising an alarm – if the government will listen.’
Details of Archbishop Kwashi’s speaking engagements can be found here
Last month (Oct 18) militants chanting Allahu Akbar killed dozens of Christians in a marketplace in Kaduna and burnt down a church. The death toll is said to have exceeded 50.
On November 9, armed herdsmen killed seven farmers in Kaduna, before fleeing to what police described as a no-go area.
‘How could Nigeria allow no-go areas where militants can hide?’ asks Paul Robinson, the CEO of Release International.
Driving out Christians
Attacks of this nature are relentless, ongoing and largely unreported. Release believes they point to a long-running campaign to drive Christians out of the north of Nigeria.
‘These murderous raids beg important questions,’ says Paul Robinson. ‘Why is the military apparently powerless to stop the slaughter of unarmed farmers? Who is arming and training these Fulani militants? And whose agenda does this killing of mainly Christian communities serve?
‘It all points to a strategy to drive out Christians from the north.
‘The government of Nigeria must act now to protect its vulnerable Christian communities in the north.’
Release has produced video, PowerPoint and other resources as a focus for prayer for IDOP on November 18.
Release is celebrating its 50th anniversary of serving the persecuted Church. Through its international network of missions Release International is active in more than 30 countries around the world, supporting pastors, Christian prisoners and their families; supplying Christian literature and Bibles; and working for justice.