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News / Thoughts

Nigeria: Easter attacks

April 17, 2023

Two attacks in Nigeria over Easter highlight the heightened risks facing millions of Christians during Holy Week. In many places, services are more regular and prominent, and this can expose Christians to hostility. Believers in Nigeria are especially prone to violent attacks; last year, more than 5,000 Christians lost their lives for their faith – that’s more than anywhere else in the world combined. The country is sixth on the World Watch List. Please pray over these two terrible incidents.

Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday (2 April), a young boy was killed and at least three people were kidnapped, including a pastor, in an attack on a church in northern Nigeria by suspected Fulani militants.

Pastor Gwadue Kwaghtyo was leading an early morning prayer vigil at the church in the village of Akenawe in Benue State on Sunday when gunmen stormed in. “As they were praying, they were surrounded by the armed men,” reports Salome Tor, Chairman of Logo LGA. “They kidnapped three people, killed one boy and injured two people; they are now in the hospital.”

Good Friday

On Good Friday, at least 32 Christians were killed in an attack by suspected Fulani militants on an internally displaced people (IDP) camp in Benue State. Many of the victims are believed to be women and children.

“The ugly incident occurred [at 9pm] while people were asleep,” the chairman of the camp told Open Doors local partners. “The militants invaded the camp … when they noticed that people became aware of their presence, they started shooting which resulted in the death of 32 persons.”

The IDP camp houses nearly 30,000 people, mostly Christians who have fled their villages because of Fulani militant attacks. The camp mainly comprises women and children and is next to a primary school and, until the attack, was believed to be safe.

Pray now…

  • For the Lord’s peace and protection to rest over Christians in Benue State
  • That those grieving and traumatised will tangibly know God’s healing and comforting presence
  • That leaders will be given wisdom and discernment as they look after people amid these tragedies, and that the government will put in place stronger measures to protect vulnerable communities across Nigeria.

Do something now…

1. Order our new 2023 World Watch List interactive prayer map…

2. Take on the Risk Factor quiz and share your score with your friends…

3. Choose to Lose and raise money and prayer for those losing out because of their faith in Jesus…

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.