Nigeria: Facing deadly persecution
- by Ashleigh Hooker
- March 24, 2022
Our brothers and sisters are facing deadly persecution. They need our prayers.
Late last year, Canon Hassan John, a pastor from the Diocese of Jos in Nigeria, asked Anglican Aid supporters to pray. Christians in the north-east were being targeted by the Islamist group Boko Haram. As locals traveled between villages, Boko Haram militants were setting up checkpoints and identifying Christians through their ID or ATM cards. The Christians were then either executed immediately or taken away as captives for ransom.
In north and central Nigeria, last year over 10,000 people were displaced by attacks from Islamist groups like Boko Haram and Fulani cattle herders. Anglican Aid has been working with the Diocese of Jos to provide emergency relief and resettlement aid for these brothers and sisters who are in desperate need.
We are encouraged by our brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Jos who continue proclaiming the gospel in the face of opposition. Archbishop of Jos, Ben Kwashi said:
“In the north of Nigeria where I live there have been so many killings, together with the destruction of homes, farms, properties, churches… The stories can be heartbreaking. But the gospel cannot be burnt out or destroyed.”
This Easter, Anglican Aid is launching our Persecuted Christians Support Program. To some extent, this isn’t new. We’ve already been supporting church partners in places where Christians are suffering persecution like Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, and Pakistan. But we are sharpening our focus in this area of ministry and establishing networks in other countries to support persecuted Christians through prayer, advocacy and humanitarian assistance. God calls us to bear one another’s burdens and we take this as our call to action (Galatians 6:2).
Right now, we are looking for people to pray with us. It takes God’s empowering Spirit to help our brothers and sisters to endure. Canon Hassan John tells us that in northern Nigeria, some believers, especially young people, are seeking protection from extremist groups by turning to traditional idol worship, charms, or Islam. They need our prayers! We invite you to sign up here to receive a monthly e-mailed prayer update for persecuted Christians. The prayer points will come from our partners on the ground. Please join us in praying!
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