Date:  May 17, 2022

Nigeria (International Christian Concern) On May 14, 2022, protestors attacked and looted three churches and other Christian-owned stores in northern Nigeria. The three churches damaged by the protestors were the Holy Family Catholic Cathedral, St. Kevin’s Catholic Church and Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA). The churches are all located in Sokoto, a state in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria.

The violence was in response to the arrest of two Muslim men involved in the stoning and killing of Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu, a Christian college student, on accusations of blasphemy.  Deborah regularly attended the ECWA.

The Sokoto Diocese reported broken windows, vandalized buses and stores, as well as harm to a new hospital, all owned and operated by Christians. A 24-hour curfew was put in place in Sokoto by the governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, after the riots began.

The police used teargas to break up additional protests outside of the sultan of Sokoto’s home, and the protestors’ attempts to raid Christian stores in the area were thwarted by security personnel. 

Residents of Sokoto have requested prayer and church leaders of the ECWA and the Christian Association of Nigeria have called for justice from the government.

Reverend Joseph Daramola, a prominent leader in the Christian Association of Nigeria responded to the violence, declaring, “It is the failure of the security agencies and the government to rise to such criminalities in the past that gave birth to terrorists and bandits. As long as the state fails to bring these beasts and criminals amidst us to book, so also the society will continue to be their killing fields.”

HOW TO PRAY: Pray for restoration of the damages that these churches and stores suffered. Pray for justice for Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu. Pray for peace between religious groups in this region.