Nigeria – a Church responding to violence and suffering

From a conversation with a Nigerian Christian leader

A sharp increase of attacks on communities (especially in southern Kaduna, Plateau, and Taraba States) has taken place since January, and intensified even since March, from insurgents and extremist groups in the region. While not all attacks are against Christians, a great number of the affected communities have been Christian.

Perpetrators have taken advantage of this time of lockdown, where communities are left with little recourse to self-defense, and with insufficient support or response from state police or military forces. Many communities are grieving devastating losses, and have been displaced to camps where living conditions are often quite poor.

Young women in these areas face increased risk of kidnapping by insurgents, militants, bandits, others (sometimes even with connivance of local leaders or state operatives), and are often forced into conversion and marriage.

This sharp increase in attacks has put Nigerian Christians on the defensive. Many feel aggrieved, and take to social media with their outcry. Christians have been meeting together in greater measure to pray, and to plan and discern how the Church can respond.

  • Pray for peace and security to return
  • Pray for the government to provide all communities with a fair and just response to security threats
  • Pray for unity among the believers
  • Pray for Christians to have a Christ-honouring response to the aggression and suffering they are facing right now