Pray for Christians Being Attacked by Fulani Herdsmen
Open Doors USA recently learned Christian communities in and around Jos, Nigeria are being brutally attacked by Muslim Fulani herdsmen. Jos is an important city in the religious landscape as it is the capital of Plateau State and is positioned on the dividing line between Nigeria’s mainly Christian south and mostly Muslim north. This region has witnessed sporadic ethnic and religious tensions for decades.
Today, the situation for residents of Jos is dire. Reports have come in that Muslim Fulani herdsmen had been terrorizing Christians in this region for approximately ten days, killing as many as 40 people and causing the displacement of thousands.
One of these attacks targeted the Mai Farin Mota, a predominantly Christian community west of Jos. According to reports, it started at around 9:00 p.m. Although residents made frantic phone calls for help, the attack lasted until 3:00 a.m. without response from the army or police.
Some local women reported they were not surprised as soldiers had previously told them they would not provide bodyguard services. “Why don’t you ask your God to guard you?” They reported being taunted.
Later that afternoon, women in the village tried to claim the body of one of the dead in order to buy him. The soldiers, however, refused to turn over the man’s body and instead insisted on keeping the corpse for inspection to determine what kind of weapons were used.
Angry, the women reportedly tore down the military checkpoint and demanded the soldiers leave their community.
Eventually, the soldiers did leave, but as they exited, rumors began circulating that the village would be attacked again. And, unfortunately, the military’s departure seemed to prompt another series of attacks.
One of the largest of the attacks occurred Sunday night in a small village ten minutes’ drive from Jos. The villagers in the area heard rumors the attacks were coming and asked the soldiers for protection. Instead of staying to help, the soldiers locked the 28 villagers, mainly women and children, in the local school where they attempted to hide the best they could. All 28 were killed.
As a result, fear is of course rising among villagers as they learn of more and more killings of Christians in the area. The Fulani herdsmen in the area seem to be more heavily armed than ever before and some locals fear the soldiers have become complicit in the attacks. While it is difficult to sift through reports to determine the specific causes of each attack, it is clear that Christians in and around Jos are incredibly vulnerable right now.
Please pray for the safety of our brothers and sisters in and around Jos. Pray that God will intervene in this volatile situation and that the government will work diligently to restore order. The villagers need the government to stand up for the safety and well-being of all the people in their country, rather than siding with one religious group.
Pray that the Lord will scatter the aggressors and that security agencies will do all they can prevent further loss of life. And please pray God will sustain the Church in Jos and the entire Middle Belt region.
If you would like to receive weekly updates and prayer related news from Open Doors, so you can learn what happens to believers in Jos and other hostile regions of the world, you can sign up here.