One church in northeast Nigeria has revealed extremist group, Boko Haram, has taken the lives of 8,370 of its members.
In a press conference, Reverend Joel Billi, from the Church of the Brethren, stressed the far-reaching and systematic persecution by Boko Haram.
“Over 700,000 members have been displaced, with only seven out of 60 District Church Councils not directly affected,” he said.
According to Rev Billi, 300 branches of the church have either been burned or destroyed. As well as countless homes and properties. This has forced at least 25,000 church members into refugee camps in neighbouring Cameroon.
The extremist group has also abducted several of the church’s leaders. Among them, 217 Chibok schoolgirls who were kidnapped in 2014. 112 remain missing.
However, despite the violence and mass displacement, Archbishop Benjamin Argak Kwashi says attacks targeting Christians are being largely neglected by the country’s authorities.
“This thing is systematic. It is planned. It is calculated.
“Every time we have raise our voices to say to the government what is going on, they always produce a narrative that it is farmers’ and herders’ clashes. That narrative is a false cover up because honest people will be sleeping in their homes at night that will be massacred, but it will be said that it was a clash. That is far from the truth.”
To be a Christian in northern Nigeria is hard, even life-threatening. As attacks continue, please be praying for the church.
Pray For Nigeria
- Pray the members Rev Billi’s church will find grace, peace and healing despite the constant threat of violence.
- Pray members of Boko Haram will hear the gospel and come to know Jesus.
- Pray authorities will stand against persecution with action and strength.
Thanks to the support of people like you, Open Doors’ Trauma Centre, opened its doors officially in March 2019. It is specially set up for Christians in Nigeria who have suffered all sorts of trauma and persecution, and provides a temporary respite and place of healing for them. The Centre also trains the Nigerian church to provide trauma care for their people.
Give now to Christians in Nigeria
Every HK$540 could provide trauma care and long term spiritual healing for a Nigerian woman who has suffered violent persecution.