Leader: President Muhammadu Buhari
How many Christians?: 95.4 million (46.3% of the population)
World Watch List Rank: 9
“God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Thank you, Open Doors, for being a family and a source of hope to my children and me.”
Martina, Nigerian Christian
Thousands of Christians have been killed or abducted by Boko Haram, the militant Islamist group who claim to have established a ‘caliphate’ (Islamic state) in northern Nigeria. On a smaller but no less devastating scale, Christians are also the target of Hausa-Fulani Muslim herdsmen, who have destroyed hundreds of churches and killed thousands of Christians. Twelve of the northern states have adopted Islamic law, and Christians are frequently discriminated against in this region, with Christian villages often lacking clean water and health clinics, and Christians being denied access to secondary school and higher education.
Lord God, we lift up our brothers and sisters in Nigeria facing extreme violence and other forms of persecution. Comfort those who mourn, we pray, and replace their weeping with joy. Heal their trauma and show them who they are in Your eyes. Protect Christian communities from Islamic extremist attacks, and transform the hearts of those who persecute believers so ruthlessly.
Amina* and her family were subject not once but twice to attacks by Boko Haram extremists. Although they bear the scars of their experiences, Amina can sing the words, “By God’s grace, I am alive.”
*Name changed for security reasons
Martina’s husband, Pastor Joseph, was brutally murdered by Fulani militants. She was left to look after her four daughters and three sons alone. Many communities in northern Nigeria have also suffered these attacks – men and boys are killed, women and girls are raped, and buildings and possessions are destroyed. Fulani militants leave a terrible wake of trauma and pain behind them, targeting people just because they follow Jesus.
“We had nowhere to go,” remembers Martina. “Our only solution was to move into an incomplete building.”
Open Doors partners were able to help Martina and her children with rebuilding her home, thanks to your gifts and prayers. “At first, I thought I was dreaming, but today it has become a reality,” says Martina. “God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Thank you, Open Doors, for being a family and a source of hope to my children and me. This house is a ministry that God has given to me, to encourage other widows to hold on to God and not lose hope. He who has used Open Doors to wipe my tears will do the same for them.”
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Nigeria. Your gifts and prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
Through local partners and churches, Open Doors strengthens persecuted believers in Nigeria through discipleship, training, persecution survival support, community development projects, emergency relief, and trauma care.
Click the Nigeria tag below for a list of the latest articles and news on the country…
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.