In the early morning hours of August 21, two Christians were killed, including a 10-year-old boy, as assailants armed with guns, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons invaded a Christian home. Others in the village were injured in the recent attacks against the Christian community.
Andrew Allahmagani was asleep at his home in Fadiya Bakut village in the early morning hours when he heard gunshots near his residence. About 10 assailants armed with guns and cutlasses began shooting into windows and doors of his house, including where his wife lay. The assailants then went to the nearby quarters of his brother, fatally shooting his 10-year-old nephew Fidelis Ishaku and critically injuring Allahmagani’s 70-year-old mother. A Christian security guard at the house, Zaman Naki, was also killed in the attack.
The invaders from Niger attacked others in the community as well, including a boy fleeing with his mother. Christians in the community courageously chased after the invaders as they fled; one suspect was caught and taken to the police station. According to Compass News three groups of assailants, numbering several hundred in total, had been seen in the area. Christians, though unarmed, resisted the attacks resulting in the arrest of 15 of the attackers. The assailants are believed to be from neighboring Niger which is 97% Muslim and has seen a rise in recent years of extremist activity, according to Operation World. Nigeria’s population of more than 158.2 million is divided between Christians, who make up 51.3 percent of the population and live mainly in the south, and Muslims, who account for 45 percent of the population and live mainly in the north. The percentages may be less, however, as those practicing indigenous religions may be as high as 10 percent of the total population, according to Operation World. Security forces in Nigeria have been alerted about the attacks.
Northern Nigeria is listed as number 23 on the 2011 Open Doors World Watch List of countries in the world where persecution of Christians is most severe.
Our Father God, there is such a spiritual battle raging in countries like Nigeria. Thank You for the certain hope that we have in the ultimate victory Christ has already achieved. But as the battles continue, we pray for peace in that land and we pray that You will grant courage and discernment to the Christians that they might stand in strength, not in their weapons but in the Word of God. Encourage and protect them in the midst of their fear. Thank You for their faithfulness. Amen