July 1st, Newsflashes from the Persecuted Church
Open Doors USA: Newsflashes from the Persecuted Church
(Published every Tuesday & Thursday)
July 1, 2014
Nigeria: More Christians Die in Church Attacks
The suffering of Christians in Nigeria under the Boko Haram insurgency continued over the weekend with another Sunday attack. At least 30 people were confirmed dead after suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked Kwada village close to Chibok in Borno State. Chibok is the village where more than 200 school girls were kidnapped almost two months ago.
The death toll is expected to rise as vigilante group members keep discovering more bodies in the bush. The attackers sprayed gunfire at worshippers and torched four churches, including the Protestant Church of Christ, the Pentecostal Deeper Life Bible Church and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa, which is Hausa for Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.
A witness said the attackers then went on to neighboring Kautikari, where they shot at villagers and burned homes. From a local media outlet, PREMIUM TIMES, it appears that while one of their reporters was in Chibok in April, suspected Boko Haram militants delivered a letter to Kautikari threatening attacks.
Christians have kept their faith despite continued attacks. Thank the Lord for their faith. Pray that their Christian testimonies will bring glory to God and help extend His kingdom in Nigeria. Pray that there will be greater effort from the government to provide security for its people in these remote northern areas.
According to the Associated Press, a car bomb went off in a market today in the northeastern village of Maiduguri. Dozens of people are feared dead. Maiduguri is considered the birthplace of the Boko Haram Islamic extremists.
Nigeria is ranked No. 14 on the Open Doors 2014 World Watch List of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians. Last month the country was ranked No. 1 on the World Watch Top 10 Violence List by Open Doors researchers as well as being the top country in the number of martyrs with 2,073 from Nov. 1, 2012, and March 31, 2014.
Sudan: Government Demolishes Christian Church
Please pray for The Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC), Bahri, North Khartoum. On Monday the government issued a 24-hour notice that it will demolish the sanctuary because it wants to use the land to construct low cost housing. The church administration appealed for the demolition to be postponed until the end of the rainy season which has set in, but the officials refused to grant their request.
Today the government started the demolition. “The authorities are demolishing the church. We tried our best to meet with the people in charge, but to no avail,” reported local Christians.
Now the Bahri SCOC congregation of more than 600 members has no place to gather for worship. Pray for the Lord’s strength and wisdom for the church leaders as they respond to the loss of their church building. Pray that the Lord will provide another place to gather. Pray that despite the effort to frustrate the Christians and eradicate their testimony, the believers will remain steadfast and respond in a way that brings glory to Christ.
Sudan is ranked No. 11 on the World Watch List.