‘Leave or Be Killed’—Boko Haram Issues Warning to Christians in Niger

June 11, 2019 by Lindy Lowry in Africa

We have an urgent prayer request from Christians in Niger, specifically in the Diffa region of the West African country. On June 7, the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram kidnapped a Christian woman in the village of Kintchendi in the Diffa region in southeastern Niger. She was released yesterday with a letter to all the Christians living in that area to “leave the town within three days or be killed.”

Our contacts in the field say the Christian association of Niger is urging all Christians in that area and other rural areas of Diffa to go to the capital city of Niamey. Several families have already left.

The Diffa area borders Nigeria to the south and Chad to the east. Boko Haram militants have repeatedly targeted the region beginning in February 2015. Most recently in October 2017, militants kidnapped the teenage daughter of a pastor there. A few months earlier in July 2017, Boko Haram kidnapped 30 to 40 women and children and executed nine other people in the village of Ngalewa. A month earlier, two female suicide bombers attacked a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Kablewa.

This new attack is one of many from Boko Haram militants, showing that despite the claims of Nigeria’s government, the extremist group is not defeated. In early 2018, President Muhammad Buhari, the current leader of Nigeria, declared that Boko Haram had been defeated. Since that statement, more than 1,300 people have died at the hands of Boko Haram as the terrorist group expands beyond Nigerian borders.

This is a developing story. Open Doors will continue to report on it when updated information is available.

Throughout sub-Saharan Africa and beyond, the church is on fire as Christians are targeted for their faith. To help Christians who are standing up for their faith around the world, you can join us in prayer or by becoming a monthly Frontline Partner. Thank you for your care and support for God’s people!