2012 is off to a deadly start with the killings of an elderly father and his son in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Six Christians also died in attacks at Deeper Life Church in Gombe State, including the wife of the pastor. In the last ten years, waves of similar attacks have taken thousands of lives in Nigeria. Mobs have burned hundreds of churches.
Recently militants issued an ultimatum to Christians to leave the mainly Muslim north or risk death. For a third year, the strict Islamist sect Boko Haram is claiming credit for the carnage at churches in Africa’s most populous country. In one incident at Christmas, a mob dragged a pastor from his home and shot him. Gunmen opened fire at another church killing six people and wounding ten others.
For updated information, the secular news website http://AllAfrica.com gathers stories from leading newspapers across Africa, and is a reliable source for current news on Muslim/Christian conflict.
In Nigeria the north is predominantly Muslim and the south Christian. The points where these communities meet are often hot spots of conflict. Coexistence of the two groups becomes even more difficult because of rigid Islamic Shariah law imposed on Christians in nine northern states. Persecution is strongest in this area.
Nigeria, an oil-rich nation of about 167 million people, is among the most corrupt countries in the world, according to studies on international justice. Its population is split nearly evenly between Christian and Muslim. Despite the conflict and other hardships, thousands of people are turning to follow Jesus. The Church is growing.
David C Cook supports struggling churches located in many of the world’s most difficult countries. In places where believers are denied access to any kind of Bible study materials, Cook’s Global Mission unit still has ways of supplying them. For security reasons, we cannot publish our methods on the Internet, but if you would like to help Christians in places restricted painfully by unjust governments or social threats, write us or call one of our program staff at 719-533-3005.
Pray for persecuted churches and support them in practical ways.