It was one night in February 2015 that Fulani Herdsmen attacked Christina’s village in Nassarawa state – in Nigeria’s Middle Belt.
“People were shouting: ‘Herdsmen are coming, herdsmen are coming! Get out!'” recalled Christina. “At first my husband thought we had better wait and see how the situation developed, but we soon realised we had to run.”
Christina fled with her husband and seven children. But when they came across the body of their niece, who had died in the violence, they stopped to bury her. “My husband thought it best to go back home to get his motorcycle so we could flee faster… I never saw my husband again.”
Christina later learned that her husband had been captured. The herdsmen had killed him and burned his body. “They also burned down our house and everything we ever had,” she recalled. “So now I am a widow with seven children to look after.”
Believers in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, such as Christina’s family, have been put under immense pressure from Muslim Fulani herdsmen. The Islamic tribesmen have disputed with Christians over pastureland and are now increasingly driven by Islamic expansionist agendas.
I, too, get discouraged and want to give up, but we must trust in God.
“We used to live among the Fulani,” explained Christina. “We gave them no reason to kill us. The only reasons they had were religious reasons; they wanted to kill us because we are Christians.”
Despite the pain she has been going through, Christina is holding fast to her faith. “This situation has not caused us to relent,” she said. “I am still chasing after God with all of my strength. I, too, get discouraged and want to give up, but we must trust in God.
“When my husband was alive, he used to provide all that I needed. Right now I’m struggling with my health and I don’t have the strength to farm, but I still look to God and God alone for my sustenance.
“We really need people to pray for us. Please pray for my children, specifically that they will grow in the Lord and will be responsible in the community. Pray also for my health.”
Open Doors is currently in the process of finding the best and appropriate ways of helping Christina and her family. We partner with the local church to strengthen and equip persecuted believers in northern Nigeria through trauma counselling, theological training and emergency relief, to name a few of our projects. Nigeria ranks as number 12 in the Open Doors World Watch List.
*Name changed for security reasons
Source: Open Doors
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imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.