We received tragic news from our team in the field that the Islamic State in Nigeria claimed to kill 11 Christians during the Christmas holiday.
The IS news agency, Amaq, released a 56-second video showing the brutal killings and claiming revenge for their fallen leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The BBC reports, “[The video] was released on 26 December and analysts say it was clearly timed to coincide with Christmas celebrations.”
Our team in the field calls for prayer as the story continues to develop:
“We do not have any further information about this situation, but ask that supporters join us in praying for God’s grace to all those affected by this tragic news. Pray for courage and the ability to place their hope in the Lord and the knowledge that those who were in Christ and died in this event are now in His presence.”
Nigeria is #12 on the World Watch List. It’s also the country with the most faith-related killings year after year.
One pastor we met in Nigeria described the current environment in the northern region as a survival culture—”You lay your head down at night, not knowing if you’ll wake,” he says.
However, even during the violence and threat of future attacks from the Islamic State, Militant Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram—the hope of Christ is still present with the church.
Pastor Marco, one of our partners in the field, is helping rebuild a church and restore a village that was attacked by Boko Haram. His words for the church in the U.S. are both inspiring and encouraging—reminding us that to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Listen to his words of courage and hope—and remember your Christian family in Nigeria today.
Open Doors partners with the local church to strengthen, support and equip persecuted believers in northern Nigeria. Pray that these efforts will glorify God. Pray for strength, protection and godly wisdom for workers as they interact with the broken-hearted. Pray their compassionate care will assure our brothers and sisters they are loved and never alone.