Date: June 20, 2020
You will be secure under a government that is just and fair. Your enemies will stay far away. You will live in peace, and terror will not come near. If any nation comes to fight you, it is not because I sent them. Whoever attacks you will go down in defeat. (Isaiah 53:14-15 NLT)
These promises from Isaiah resound especially today, in our world that is crying out for God’s justice and peace. Use these verses to guide your prayers for Nigeria this week.
On 3 June a predominantly Christian community in Kajuru, Kaduna State, buried nine of its members. They had been murdered by machete-wielding assailants of Fulani ethnicity, who had attacked the village in the early hours of the morning. An unknown number of people were also injured during the attack. Seven remain missing.
The following day, three-year-old Elizabeth Samaila died in agony from multiple machete wounds sustained during the attack, raising the death toll to ten.
This was far from an isolated event; in fact, it’s part of a crisis on an appalling scale that has been ongoing for ten years. Yet the violence in central Nigeria continues, and has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
We’re hoping a new report will change that.
On Monday the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief (APPG-FoRB) published a report entitled ‘Nigeria: Unfolding Genocide?’. The report describes the armed violence against Christian farming communities in the country’s central states, perpetrated by well-armed assailants from the Fulani ethnic group, which is predominantly Muslim.
The violence has caused huge devastation and heightened existing ethno-religious tensions. We hear reports almost daily of attacks on innocent civilians, yet the government has not addressed the violence or brought the perpetrators to justice focusing instead on harassing and arbitrarily detaining those who try to draw attention to the crisis. Meanwhile, the international community has not held the Nigerian government to account for these failures.
In summary, please pray:
- That the APPG report will be read widely, by people in power in governments around the world.
- That the report will serve as a wake-up call, convicting the UK government and others of the need for swift and concrete action to end this terrible human rights crisis.
- For a definitive end to this and every other source of violence, so that all Nigeria’s civilians can enjoy peace and freedom.