The Barnabas Fund ask us today to “Pray without ceasing” for Christians in Nigeria as “… a palpable terror is being unleashed in Christians so that Sunday is transformed from a day of worship in to a day of fear”. These were the words of a church leader in Jos following a second church bombing in the space of two weeks. The attack happened 10 minutes into a Sunday service on 11 March; seven people died in the blast. Later that same day, gunmen ambushed Christians in Chungwi village, killing three people. Nigerian Christians are under constant threat as Boko Haram seeks to eradicate Christians from the North. Pray for grace for our brothers and sisters, and that even in the face of such violence they will respond in love and not retaliate.
A previous prayer request stated that on 4 March, militant Islamist group Boko Haram has declared “war” on Christians in Nigeria. A spokesman said that that they were planning coordinated attacks to “eradicate Christians from certain parts of the country”. Two days later, they followed this up with a threat to kidnap Christian women. Boko Haram, which has been fighting to establish an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria since 2009, has committed numerous attacks against Christians and the security forces; these have intensified this year after the group issued a three-day deadline on New Year’s Day for Christians to leave the North. Pray that the authorities will be able to restrain Boko Haram’s violent menace, and that Christians will be protected from further attacks.
Another report stated that at 7.20am on Sunday 26 February, a suicide bomber forced his way into the grounds of the Church of Christ (COCIN) HQ in Jos. Two women and an 18-month-old child were killed and around 50 people were injured as the vehicle sped past a security checkpoint and exploded three metres from the church building. Pray for the families of those who died in this attack, that they will find comfort in the Lord. Ask that He will also grant healing to those who were injured in this bombing, and in a similar attack at a church in Suleja, near the capital, Abuja, on Sunday 19 February. Pray for protection for the Christian community in Jos; prior to this attack, a list of potential Boko Haram targets, which included the COCIN headquarters, had reportedly been found.
PS The latest edition of Grace Magazine featrues Nigeria