A wave of violence against Christians is breaking across Nigeria’s Middle Belt. Your support is helping pastors like Jeremiah* to provide persecuted believers with food, money to rebuild and trauma care.
“When we go to sleep at night, we are never sure whether we will make it alive to the next day,” says Pastor Jeremiah, sitting among the scorched mud walls that used to be his home.
In April 2020, Pastor Jeremiah’s village was attacked – part of a wave of violence against Christians in Nigeria’s Middle Belt. In this region, militant Fulani herdsmen are pushing their cattle through the regions where Christians have lived for generations. When these radicals attack, they do so with brutality, aiming to wipe out the Christian presence in the region.
“We have cried to the government to intervene, but they have done nothing,” Pastor Jeremiah says.
When the Fulani militants attacked his village, they came bearing automatic weapons, shooting anyone in sight, and burning homes with flaming torches. It was impossible to protect the town against heavily armed men, so everyone fled.
“The Fulani radicals shot at me while I was running,” Pastor Jeremiah says.
Some of the Christians in the village didn’t make it out alive.
The Fulani militants went from house-to-house, setting everything ablaze. They set fire to a stack of plastic chairs in the church, hoping the blaze would set the roof on fire. Yet God protected the church.
“When we came back in the morning, all we saw was fire and smoke rising from houses and stored grains,” Pastor Jeremiah says.
This kind of violent persecution is part of the Christian life for many believers in Nigeria – no. 9 on the 2021 World Watch List of the most dangerous countries to be a Christian today. Even during the Covid pandemic, deadly attacks increased in the region.
Through this terrible attack, Pastor Jeremiah is still shepherding his people toward hope.
“Even if we die, we are in the hands of God,” Paster Jeremiah says.
Open Doors helped Pastor Jeremiah and his congregation with critical support to buy food, medicine and materials to rebuild their homes. Offering spiritual support and trauma care has helped to encourage them in their faith and strengthen the church.
“If you had not come, we would have suffered even more,” Pastor Jeremiah says. “Open Doors, on behalf of my people, we are saying, thank you.”
*Name changed for security reasons
Every HK$ 365 can provide a month’s food for a Christian family of five who fled their homes.
Every HK$ 775 can help train a church member to become a counselor to help many persecuted Christians get out of their trauma.
Every HK$ 1,160 can give a church leader vital disciple training because they serve on the front lines in turbulent areas.