Youth Attack Worshipers at a Nigerian Catholic Church

July 22, 2016 by Janelle P in Africa

In the already hard-hit Niger State in northern Nigeria, Catholic worshipers, who had gone to the church to pray on Friday, July 15, around 2 p.m. were attacked by Muslim youth. The attackers claim that Friday is the Muslim day of worship; Christians are only allowed to worship on Sundays. Witnesses said the young men destroyed church property, including doors and windows, before the police arrived. Rev. Fr. Luka Sylvester Gopep, Vicar-General of the Diocese, confirmed the incident. “Sometime around 2 p.m.,” he said, “some hundreds of Muslim youth left their mosque after their Jumu’ah (Friday) prayer and rushed to the church premises, climbed the wall and destroyed everything in the church: windows, the alter, musical instruments, the chapel. The security man on the church premises was beaten to a pulp. Some women who were holding a prayer meeting were chased away. The seminarian, a resident on the premises, was also beaten up and chased away.” Please join us in praying for the Lord’s grace to the congregation as they respond to this attack and for healing for the victims.

Heavenly Father, with Brother Andrew we seek to “love all Muslims,” praying that they will be turned from spiritual darkness and come to know the love of Jesus. Holy Spirit, we do pray for these youth that You will guide them to Your Word and to saving faith in the Savior who died to redeem His enemies and to make them into sons of the Most High God. And today, we lift up those they have injured and the church they have destroyed. We pray for the congregation as they respond to the attack that You will grant them both wisdom and courage. Protect them even while giving them opportunity to reach out in compassion to their neighbors. May Your worship continue in their midst and may those who are injured and traumatized know Your comfort and healing. In the name of Jesus who is calling men and women out of the darkness of sin into His glorious kingdom. Amen.

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