Violent persecution is casting a bloody shadow across Nigeria, and Christians and other religious minorities are suffering brutal consequences.
It’s no secret that persecution has been on the rise in Nigeria over the last few years. At the halfway point of 2022, there had already been 23 attacks on churches. That number is more than half of the 31 attacks in 2021, and already higher than the 18 attacks in 2020.
And there’s no sign that the onslaught will slow. In early August, over 20 Christians were killed in the Tariba state region alone. A lawyer was shot in his home. A university student was kidnapped and may be forced into marriage. A group of nuns were captured on their way to mass.
How, in the face of such violence, can Nigeria’s Church find hope? Through the grace of God displayed through stories like Daniel’s.
Daniel is a Nigerian believer who survived an attempt on his life. He was living in Maiduguri, a city with a population over 800,000. One night, a group of hooded Boko Haram terrorists charged into their apartment.
“When they have hoods over their faces, it means that they’re your neighbours, and you likely know them,” Daniel said – as recounted by Emmanuel Ogebe of Voice of the Martyrs Canada.
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Daniel, his brothers, and his father all had their throats slit. Miraculously, Daniel and his brothers survived, leaving them with “necklace” scars. Daniel’s father did not.
His family’s troubles weren’t over. Several years later, Daniel’s mother was abducted by Boko Haram. For months, the only way Daniel could see his mother was via YouTube videos posted by her captors showing her surrounded by guns. After almost a year, she was released.
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Needless to say, Daniel doesn’t plan on letting her out of his sight. He’s currently studying engineering in college while building a house for his mother and his four siblings. Voice of the Martyrs Canada is helping support the family as they rebuild.
Daniel’s “necklace” may be a reminder of tragedy, but it’s also a reminder of the miraculous healing and saving hand of God. He’s an example of perseverance in a community that does not welcome him. He publicly wears his hope in Christ even while his attackers wear hoods to conceal their own identities.
Pray for Daniel and believers like him who face regular danger. Ask God to protect His people.