Become aware, say a prayer, show you care
September 11, 2020
This week, I can’t get Nigeria off my mind. When I used to think of Nigeria, what first came to mind was huge, enthusiastic prayer meetings and aggressive evangelism. That happens mainly in the south where Christians are in the majority. There are other parts to Nigeria. Islam is predominant in the north. The belt in between where people of the two faiths mingle, the breadbasket of Nigeria, is becoming “the biggest killing ground of Christians in the world” (cruxnow.com Aug 22/20).
Since 2000, almost 100,000 Christians have been killed by Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and ISWAP (Islamic State Western Africa Province), Fulani militants and other militant groups. Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Argak Kwashi of Jos has described the slaughter as systematic, planned and calculated to Islamize Nigeria.
More than 96% of Fulani are Muslims. The majority are semi-sedentary, but the remainder form the world’s largest pastoral nomadic group. Their herdsmen are in conflict with Christian farmers for land – land they believe historically belongs to them. Groups of militants from the Fulani attack small Christian villages, often destroying churches (but not mosques), killing pastors (but not imams) and destroying Christian shops. Kaduna State’s Muslim Governor el-Rufai has accused the victims of causing the violence. President Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani, has been silent and taken no action. The only world leader to address the slaughter of Christians with Buhari was President Trump in 2018.
Attacks escalated in August in southern Kaduna State during the extended 24-hour COVID curfew. The residents, mainly Christians, are arrested if they leave their homes for medical aid or to get food or take care of their crops, much of which has been trampled by Fulani cattle. The military does not challenge the attacks. According to Barnabas Fund News, Nigerian Christian leaders are asking the international community to “come to the aid of Christians facing ‘what looks like a government sponsored genocide’ in southern Kaduna State”. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation with its second highest GDP. What happens in Nigeria could impact the continent. What can we do?
SAY A PRAYER:
- May the Nigerian church stand as one, seeking the fear of the Lord alone and glorifying God in humility and purity (Ps 96:9). He is Greater Than the enemy! (Ps 103:6)
- Let the international church raise a cry to the Lord and in the public sphere on their behalf!
- May Muslim perpetrators have life-changing encounters with Jesus and take refuge in Him (Mt 10:28, Jn 16:8, Ps 2:10-12).
SHOW YOU CARE:
Sometimes it’s not enough to pray; we must also take action.
Write to Prime Minister Trudeau asking that Canada advocate for Nigeria’s Christians: https://pm.gc.ca/en/connect/contact.
Send copies of your comments to your MP and Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne Francois-Philippe.Champagne@parl.gc.ca.
About 2500 people receive the GHPL. Might 2500 letters have impact?