Date: September 21, 2023
Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | RLPB 711
NIGERIA: TERROR IN KADUNA AND PLATEAU
- Christians live with gross insecurity while militant Muslims enjoy impunity.
PLUS – urgent update on Azerbaijan’s imperilled Artsakh Armenians.
By Elizabeth Kendal
CHRISTIAN CRISIS IN KADUNA
On Tuesday 12 September Christian leaders from across Kaduna State met with the state’s new Commissioner of Police, Musa Garba, and other senior officers in what was essentially a confidence-building exercise. The Christian leaders informed the police that attacks by militant Muslim Fulani herdsmen and Islamic terrorists have resulted in the killing of 23 pastors, the abduction of 215 Christians still in captivity and the closure of 200 church worship buildings in four years. They then tasked the police commissioner to ‘match his words with action by going after the bandits’ and ‘consider sanctioning religious leaders who engage in hate sermons and speeches’. Please pray!
Map showing area of Christian Crisis in south Kaduna and north-west Plateau.
Three days later, on Friday 15 September, militant Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked Dogon Noma village in predominately Christian Southern Kaduna’s Kajuru Local Government Area (LGA). Resident David Musa told Morning Star News (MSN, 18 Sep): ‘Fulani herdsmen surrounded the village in their hundreds, shooting anybody in sight; the attack occurred at about 7am. Pray for Dogon Noma community.’ Nigerian media immediately reported that two residents had been killed, at least four abducted with many more wounded. By 18 September, MSN was able to confirm that 15 Christians had been killed and 32 have been abducted. Lord have mercy!
CHRISTIAN CRISIS IN PLATEAU
On 26 July, RLPB reported: ‘Since mid-May, Christians in central Plateau State have been under sustained attack as large bands of Muslim Fulani herdsmen have attacked village after village, seemingly with impunity.’ RLPB quoted Truth Nigeria (4 July) which warned that ‘several hundred terrorists’ were ‘massing in the Fulani ethnic settlement of Bangai [in Riyom LGA] … They are moving on motorbikes, 3 men to a bike and may number as many as 800.’ Truth Nigeria (20 July) warned that the ‘mother of all invasions’ was being prepared. According to intelligence it had received, the ‘invasion’ would start in Mangu LGA, and spread west into neighbouring Barkin Ladi, and on through Riyom, Jos South and Bassa, employing not only Fulani herdsmen, but jihadists and mercenaries recruited from across Nigeria and the Sahel. [See RLPB 703, Christian Crisis in Plateau State, 26 July 2023]. The terror continues.
On 7 August, at 11pm, militant Muslim Fulani herdsmen, working alongside Islamic jihadists, attacked the predominantly Christian community of Nchiya in Mangu LGA, killing four Christians. On 10 August, at 1am, they invaded the predominantly Christian communities of Banyit and Rahogot in Barkin Ladi LGA, killing 21 Christians and wounding at least seven. On 14 August at 2pm they attacked a community high school in Kwi village in Riyom LGA, killing two Christian teachers and wounding two Christian staff members. Morning Star News (MSN) reports that on Sunday 10 September militant Muslim Fulani herdsmen invaded the predominantly Christian community of Kulben in Mangu LGA at around 8:40pm, killing 10 Christians, wounding more, and destroying property. Lord have mercy!
PLEASE PRAY THAT OUR MERCIFUL GOD WILL:
- intervene in Nigeria to protect, defend, sustain and sanctify his precious Nigerian Church. May the Holy Spirit ignite in the churches a love that compels them into action – that they might advocate for their persecuted brethren; unite in intercessory prayer for them across tribal, regional and denominational lines; and give generously to those who are displaced, grieving and impoverished simply because they are Christians. May the Church put her trust in God, not ‘man’. ‘It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.’ (Psalm 118: 9 ESV)
- comfort and sustain all those vulnerable Christians across Kaduna and Plateau states who are grieving, wounded, displaced and terrified. ‘The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.’ (Deuteronomy 33:27 ESV)
- intervene in Nigeria to bind all ‘spiritual forces of evil’ as they seek to disable or even destroy the most missional Church in all Africa and one of the leading missionary-sending Churches in the world today. ‘For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.’ (from Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV)
- redeem the current insecurity and work it for good. May those who desire a better Nigeria for the sake of their children seek it and find it in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. May those in authority find the political will, courage and energy to reform the deeply problematic 1999 Constitution – which was written by a military junta and enshrines centralised – i.e. in the hands of the President – rather than state-based security, which can leave states unable to protect their people. May God the Redeemer (Haggo’el) have mercy on Nigeria!
URGENT UPDATE ON AZERBAIJAN’S IMPERILLED ARMENIANS
At 1pm on Tuesday 19 September, Azerbaijan announced that it had launched an ‘anti-terror operation’ in Nagorno-Karabakh (an Armenian Christian enclave inside Turkic Muslim Azerbaijan). Troops have entered the capital, Stepanakert, backed by artillery shelling. Azerbaijan insists the operation will continue until the enclave’s government is dissolved and its armed forces are disbanded. Towards evening, former State Minister and Human Rights Ombudsman of Artsakh/N-K Republic, Artak Beglarian, wrote on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) that ‘26 civilians, including 11 children are injured, 2 civilians including a child is killed. Military casualties and injuries are also increasing'. Civilian infrastructure is being destroyed and more than 7000 Artsakh Armenians are again displaced. Clearly, Azerbaijan is moving to establish full control over this historically Armenian territory; genocide looms. Please pray.
live conflict map 20 Sept 2023
UPDATE (after the MailChimp's "automated abuse-prevention system, Omnivore," rejected and refused to deliver this RLPB, therefore causing delay): At 1pm on 20 September, ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh agreed to a Russian-brokered cease-fire the terms of which require they enter talks on demilitarisation and N-K's 'reintegration' into Azerbaijan. In the meantime, N-K/Artsakh Armenians say will not hand over their weapons until their security is guaranteed. This is far from over.