Christian Persecution in Nigeria

Dear Friends,

One of our Navigator leaders in Nigeria wrote to us today from the midst of rescuing his family members from violent death at the hands of those who are protesting the results of elections there.  You can read his gripping account below if that motivates you to pray.

Praying according to 1 Timothy 2 “for kings and all who are in authority so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” is very intense and personal for many of our Navigator disciples living in such situations these days.  Please join me in interceding for our brothers and sisters today.

With you in Him,

P.S. Thanks for praying for the Navigator Church Ministry leaders here last week.  We all came away inspired and convinced of how vital these ministries are for sustaining spiritual generations in our vision, and with specific plans for strengthening this work around the world.

From Nigeria:

Dear Friends

The last few days have been very eventful around us in Zaria Kaduna State. Tension began on Sunday following the Presidential elections on Saturday the 16th of April. Early Monday morning we got information that our church and a few others had been burnt by Muslims who were angry that some of the results already declared did not favour their principal Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. Most of the results were still not known when all these began. My son had gone to school and was in a danger zone so also was my niece who had gone to work and later called to say they were being attacked. I drove off and by God’s grace was able to get both of them out of the grave dangers.

Our nephew and niece had left in the morning to return to Abuja and were almost killed at the motor park save for the timely intervention of the police who helped get them out and they came back. Three ladies who were traveling and had nowhere to go came home with them. One of them sustained injuries from beatings from the Muslims who demanded that she shouts that Buhari is the Leader.

While we were at home listening to news, and calling people we knew, a nearby Christian High School where one of our sons Eke had gone to write exam was attacked. Eke ran back with some friends. The next moment the entire school was on fire and students and teachers fled to our home for safety. Many of them stayed till late. After the army deployed soldiers their parents came for them. We took the wounded among them to the Clinic in the College where we live for treatment.

More information continued to come in. All the Christian Chapels in the different schools except for the one in the main campus of Ahmadu Bello University had been burnt. Several churches in town had been burnt. The worst hit institution is the State Polytechnic. There were so many casualties and many were taken to St. Luke’s Anglican Hospital Wusasa. This morning I got information that several have died. The student nurse I spoke to said he knew of five deaths of Students and Staff of the Polytechnic who were brought as casualties to the hospital.

Churches and homes of Christians have been burnt throughout Funtua and Malumfashi. A Christian family from my home town who live in Funtua had their house burnt. The number of lives lost in this town is still not known. A member of our church has been killed. The number of churches burnt around us may be up to 10.

By night fall several families who live in less secured places filled our home to find a place to spend the night. On Monday night we had over (30) thirty people in our house. By this time a 24 hours curfew had been slammed on our city. Early Tuesday morning I left home to go look for bread and water for the house full of people and it was hard as every shop was shut and the army were seriously enforcing the curfew.

By Tuesday night we had about 15 people. During the day we have fewer people as those who live close by go back to their places and come back in the night out of fear of being attacked in the night.

We learnt that we could not even try to get into Kaduna as it is more unsafe. In fact we learnt that vehicles are being stopped and people are sorted out based on their religion and the religion of the attackers for summary execution.

Every morning we have sat together to share scriptures and to pray. We looked at Eph.2:11 – 22 today. Christ is our peace! He alone can make enemies to become friends and family. He alone can permanently remove the barriers of human relationships. But how do we deal with hurt and rightful anger? How do we deal with the fear that we have not yet seen the end of this unprovoked and senseless attacks on us?

As you think of us

Thank God for protecting us all
Pray that we will respond rightly to our feelings of hurt, anger and fear
Pray that God will help us provide acceptable answers to questions related to hurt, anger and fear as people ask us and look to us to help them deal with them.

As you think of our city Zaria.

Pray that this senseless bloodshed will come to an end though it is hard to think that this town where hatred is preached and advanced will know peace. Okem has been writing some examinations in a predominantly Muslim School. His classmates have told him over and over that they hate Jonathan because he is a Christian and that they hate him (Okem) for the same reasons.

As you think of our nation Nigeria

Pray that the newly elected government will stand for justice for all irrespective of creed, tribe, language or geographic locations and affiliations. Peace is predicated on justice and equity.

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