PRAYER ALERT: Pray for Nigeria’s future

With update from Iran

Nigeria flag
nigeria map

Nigeria’s ruling party candidate Bola Tinubu has been declared the winner of the country’s weekend presidential election. The 70-year-old received 37% of the vote, official results show. However, those statistics suggest voter turn-out was only 27%, one of the lowest since the end of military rule in 1999.

In the build-up to the election Release International partners warned that on-going internal security is the number one issue that the new administration would have to face. Over the past two decades Christians in the north of the country and across its central belt have faced horrific, violent persecution at the hands of Islamist militia groups.

Fears are that if the new administration does not get to grips with the issue many Nigerians will be forced to flee the country, sparking a humanitarian crisis.

Archbishop Ben Kwashi said before the election, “Christians are going to leave this country. They’re going to leave in droves. Christians are going to run to anywhere in the world, but Nigeria. They will not wait for the persecution that will happen.”

Tinubu succeeds the out-going 80-year-old president, Muhammadu Buhari, an ethnic Fulani, who has been criticised for turning a blind eye to the rising levels of violence perpetrated by Fulani militants.

Update: Youcef Nadarkhani released

Youcef Nadarkhani

In Iran Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani (pictured) was this week released from prison as part of a general amnesty, marking the 44th anniversary of the country’s Islamic revolution.

Nadarkhani received international attention in 2010 when he received the death penalty for apostasy. This was later reduced to a prison sentence for evangelising Muslims. He was released in 2012.

Four years later he and others were arrested. He was sentenced to ten years in prison for acting against national security through the propagating of house churches. In 2020 his prison sentence was reduced to six years.



  • That the new president Bola Tinubu will take seriously the security issues in Nigeria and act to protect Christian communities from Islamist militant groups
  • For stability in the country, in the aftermath of the election
  • That Christians in Nigeria will remain strong in their faith, in the face of persistent violent persecution


  • Give thanks to God for the release from prison in Iran of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani
  • Pray that Pastor Nadarkhani will quickly readjust to life with his family
  • Pray for other Christians in prison in Iran: for their protection and their release.

Sources: Middle East Concern, BBC, Release International Partners