Stories

Open Doors Visits Families of Christian Factory Workers in Nigeria

June 5, 2013 by Open Doors in

Nigeria1

Last week it was reported that several Christian men in Nigeria were gunned down because of their faith in Christ. Some Open Doors workers were able to visit the families of these men and shared about their time with them:

Open Doors workers have just returned from visiting family members of Kano factory workers killed at their barracks at Sharasa Phase 3 in Kano on Friday, February 22. Although initial official reports indicated that 13 men were killed, Open Doors has now learnt that it was eight who fell at the hands of the killers. Additionally the initial reports indicated that the men were married, but it has been confirmed by Open Doors that the men were all single.  

It is not clear exactly what happened that day. It seems however the attackers arrived at the barracks, finding only nine there. Most of the other workers were busy with their night shift. They then apparently confronted the Christians about their religion, attempting to forcefully islamise them. Eight withstood the threats, and were gunned down. A ninth gave in to the demands.

All the youths have been buried in their hometowns of Kinugu, Taraba and Bauchi.

Four of the eight victims hail from the remote Christian village of Kinugu, Lere local government area of Kaduna state. It is here that OD sought them out.

Upon arrival the grief seemed palpable. The family members and villagers were yet to come to terms with the loss of their young men � a loss that has become all too common for Nigeria’s northern Christians.

They graciously received us. But to our workers it seemed that these families were conjuring up courage from deep inside their beings, trying their utmost to keep a spiritual perspective as they make sense of their loss.

“We lost our boys. But we are happy that they did not recant their faith under the threats and intimidation of the people who killed them. We are assured that they are resting at the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Mary, one mother told us.

Despite the sad circumstances under which we met, the bereaved families graciously received us.

“We are happy to have you in our midst today. Your presence today has made us to look at Christianity in a new way. Taking the pain to come to this village speaks volumes about the true love that can only be found in Christ. We shall live to remember the act of love you show us in this village. The Lord will bind us together,” said Mary.

One father, Baba Joshua, told us, “This is the love of Jesus Christ on display. You have taken the footstep of Christ, coming to cry with us in our moment [of mourning]. This visit has helped me to receive some comfort in my heart. I was crying all day and night for this great loss of my son whom I was looking up to. But the words you have spoken have really strengthened me…Keep praying for us”.

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