The 5-5-5 Challenge: A Story of Persecution in Nigeria

June 5, 2013 by Open Doors in Stories of Persecution


Hannatu is 13 years old and wants to become a banker. Her favorite sport is basketball and she loves mathematics. She really likes the Book of Psalms because it tells her so much about who God is. One Sunday morning in June, Hannatu went to her Sunday school. She did that every Sunday. But this Sunday would be different. That day, a suicide bomber crashed his car into a barricade at her church, setting of explosives that killed at least 24 people and wounded 125 others.

“We were in the church. The church was full that morning. I was at the Sunday school. I went outside with my uncle and we were preparing for the meal. Then, we wanted to go inside. We heard a car coming. The next thing I saw was people crying, running outside. There were people lying on the ground.” Hannatu’s voice is so soft that you can barely hear it. It is difficult for her to talk about what happened. She is together with a friend who was also injured. When they chat together, Hannatu laughs. She is a tough girl with a mischievous smile.

Hannatu asks all the people to pray for her church and also for herself. “I feel sad because I lost people I loved. Especially my uncle. Sometimes, I am happy because God made me see this day and saved my life. I would like people to pray for me because I have hurt my eyes. I cannot see many objects from afar. I don’t want to wear glasses, I just want to see well. Thank you for praying.”

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