Date: August 8, 2021
Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – The EYN church in Maiduguri, the capital city of Borno State, Northeast Nigeria, was demolished by a government agency on Thursday, August 5th.
29-year-old Mr Ezekiel Bitrus Tumba, the son of a pastor, was allegedly shot and killed while trying to stop the destruction of the church.
The chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Williams Naga, condemned the killing and church demolition in a press conference:
“Officials of Borno Geographic Information System (BOGIS), led by its executive secretary, Engr Adams Bababa brought CJTF to the church not only for demolition but also ended up killing our brother and son.
The entire Christian community has been thrown into mourning mood as a brother, who was a breadwinner of his family was sent to his early grave…”
Christian believers gathered around the ruins of the church on Sunday, August 8th, to hold their weekly service. Hausa Christians Foundation, HACFO, wrote on Facebook: “They demolished the building, thinking it is the Church. [But] the Church is Forever unstoppable and indestructible.”
According to the Guardian Nigeria, four other churches in the area were also torn down alleging a “Failure to formalize land titles and property tax.”
CAN named the other demolished churches as Jubilee Sanctuary Church, Total Gospel Mission International, Sanctuary Church, and Christ Forever Land.
State governments in Northern Nigeria prohibit the construction of church buildings and often tear down existing structures without warning. According to a church leader in northern Nigeria, “If you want to build a church, they will not give you a permit, because the government will [fire] anyone who proposes/signs a document to build a church.”
HOW TO PRAY: Pray for comfort for the family of Ezekiel Bitrus Tumba. Pray for healing and unity for this congregation. Pray for the Nigerian government to respect the rights of churches.