Open Doors West Africa team leader Suleiman M* requests urgent prayer for the Christian community targeted by the threats, calling the letter “extremely credible.” A church leader who spoke on the condition of anonymity said local officials were given a three-year ultimatum to close all churches in the state. But the letter indicates a more immediate threat, identifying specific churches which are “listed for attack between now and the end of December.”
The same letter was also copied to the police, Department of State Services, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps and other security agencies. Zamfara police have directed Christians to intensify security in all places of worship, pastors’ houses and other Christian centers. Christian Association Nigeria (CAN) has also directed all churches to refrain from holding church activities after 5 pm for the next three months. A special squad has been created by the police to patrol and protect worshippers, especially on Sundays.