“Please Continue to Pray”: An Update on Christian Persecution in Nigeria

Two weeks ago I shared a firsthand account of the persecution of Nigerian Christians from my friend Samuel Kunhiyop. The situation in Nigeria keeps getting worse. Please pray. 

One international study showed that 3,462 Christians have been killed in Nigeria in the first 200 days of 2021—a number equal to 17 Christians being murdered every day in Africa’s most populous country. And the killings just keep happeing.

International Christian Concern reports, “Thirty-seven Christians were brutally murdered late Tuesday night [August 25] in Yelwan Zangam community, Jos North LGA, Plateau State. …The attack is suspected to be perpetrated by jihadist Fulani herdsmen, the fourth deadliest terror group in the world which has surpassed Boko Haram as the greatest threat to Nigerian Christians.”

In a follow-up report, they say, “In a pattern that has repeated itself for years, the governor of Plateau State barely reacted to the killing of Christians early in the month but responded strongly when a group of Muslims was killed, even visiting victims in the hospital and promising to pay for their medical expenses.”

Christian Headlines explains, “In this year’s World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria broke into the top 10 for the first time, jumping to No. 9 from No. 12 the previous year. Numbering in the millions across Nigeria and the Sahel, predominantly Muslim Fulani comprise hundreds of clans of many different lineages who do not hold extremist views, but some Fulani do adhere to radical Islamist ideology, the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief (APPG) noted in a recent report.”

“Unceasing tears have continued to roll in our eyes as a nation and people even as this note is penned down,” one spokesman for an ethnic group said. “The terror being unleashed by Fulani herdsmen on Irigwe Christians has continued unabated and without any sign of remorse or regret.”

Samuel sent another update this week, asking for continued prayer:

I wish to acknowledge with gratitude to the triune God your prayers and financial support you have rendered to the brethren in Nigeria, particularly the believers in Southern Kaduna. So far, the total amount is about $18,000. At the moment, $10,000 is being used to buy foodstuff and medicines. After taking these foodstuff and medicines, we will assess the situation as more people have been displaced and see how best to use the funds to help meet some of these needs. Please pray for wisdom and safety in travels.

We actually wanted to take these items to the displaced believers in the two camps, but we could not move out of Jos because of a curfew that the government has imposed because of killings at the beginning of the week. Jos is the capital city of Plateau State which is actually a neighboring state to Kaduna where Yelwa and I come from. On Tuesday, over thirty people (men, women, and children) were murdered, and the Christian youths protested threatening a reprisal. The angry youths carried 17 of the corpses and dumped them in front of the governor’s office. There was tension everywhere.  A 24-hour curfew was immediately imposed, and we have been indoors ever since. There have been protests against the government and the security outfits who are biased and always looked the other way when Christians are being killed. … As soon as the curfew is lifted, we will buy the medicines which a Christian doctor helped in prescribing. We will then take these items to the two camps by the weekend.

Now to Southern Kaduna. The attacks, killings, abductions, and destruction of property have continued unabated in the Southern part of Kaduna State. In the last one week alone there have been three separate attacks in three different villages (all Christians). In one village that is predominantly Roman Catholic, 17 people were killed (13 women and 4 men) and their houses and farmlands destroyed. In the other two villages, 6 persons were murdered with their property also destroyed. People are living in constant fear.

Most shocking of all, attacks happed on Monday when gunmen (Islamists) attacked the Nigeria Military Academy in Kaduna and killed two senior officers and abducted one major! …If a military institution can be successfully attacked, its military personnel killed and abducted, who is safe?  

I know you are praying but please do not get tired—continue to pray. Christians know that the government which is led by a Muslim has the explicit agenda of making Nigeria an Islamic State. That is why they are killing and destroying all the villages and towns that are predominantly Christians so that they can take over. …We pray that God will have mercy on His remnant and spare us and above all that His name will be glorified.

Thanks, friends and brethren, for standing by us during these difficult and challenging times.

If you would like to give to this cause you can donate to EPM’s persecuted church special fund. 100% of donations will be given to worthy organizations helping persecuted believers, including those in Nigeria. You can also give directly to a ministry our brother Samuel recommends, helping believers in Southern Kaduna, by mailing a check to BILD International, 2400 Oakwood Road Ames, IA 50014-8417. Please indicate that the money is meant for Southern Kaduna Support c/o of Dr. Samuel Waje Kunhiyop. Another option is to call BILD’s office at (515)292-7012 to make your designated gift.

Thank you, King Jesus, for your loyalty to us and to every one of our suffering brothers and sisters in Nigeria, Afghanistan, North Korea, and all around the world. Thank you for promising a kingdom where righteousness will reign, and joy will be the air we breathe. May that kingdom come quickly—and until it does, may you find us faithful.

Samuel later sent this update:

Friday, September 3, 2021 will stand out in our memory as one of the most emotional and fulfilled experiences of our ministry here in Nigeria. On this day, Yelwa and I  took various items of food, clothing, medicines, blankets, and mattresses to two camps of  Internally displaced persons in a state where thousands of people had lost their loved ones, homes, and farms to the Fulani Herdsmen who had attacked and caused so much destruction. 

As we presented these items to the leaders of the Church in the presence of these displaced men and children, I kept thinking about the believers in the US and even in Nigeria who had contributed to the gifts. I thought about each and every one of you, especially those that I know personally. Even those who gave that we didn’t know personally also came to mind. I could see you there together presenting those items to the brethren.  Immediately, the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 25 came to mind. I told the people they should remember that brethren in a faraway land gave these things to them. They were emotional, appreciative, and asked me to thank you all for what you did. The words of our Lord are true, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did to one of the least one of these, My brethren, you did it to me.”

Our next phase of support will be directed to provide some assistance to Church buildings and homes that were burnt down.

Photo: Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries