Yet another group of Christian persecutors has aggressively come to play in Nigeria. Yet again the atrocities are brutal and even worse than what the notorious Boko Haram has been inflicting upon Nigerian Christians.
According to the Global Terrorism Index, this group of ‘Fulani’ Muslim Militants is the world’s fourth most deadly militant group, having killed more than 1200 people in the middle belt of Nigeria in 2014. Since the group is not yet recognized as a terrorist group, they openly carry arms and fearlessly conduct their acts of violence in the region.
The worrisome fact is that Christian persecution that was so far restricted to the northern region of Nigeria is spreading towards the middle belt of the country too.
Recently on 31st May, the Fulanis attacked the Christian community of Ninte village, early morning around 2 am, burning down the houses and firing all night long. People fled for life to the nearby communities for shelter and help. Others spent the night hiding in the bushes and struggling for their survival through the night. According to reports, two people died in the attack and many others have been inquired, including women and children.
‘Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that has come upon you, as though something strange were happening to you.
But rejoice that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed at the revelation of His glory’. (1 Peter 4: 12-13)
Though, the church in the neighbourhood is helping the displaced Christian community of Ninte village. The Catholic Bishop of Kafancaon, Bishop Joseph Bagobiri, has called for international support to help the rehabilitation of these people.
However, as many as 1.3 million Christians have also fled the region of Kafanchan, in the fear of affliction from the fierce Fulanis.
As we share in the sufferings and fears of the faithful in Nigeria today, we fundamentally join in the international call for prayers for the troubled Christian community of Ninte village.
‘Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer’. (Romans 12:12)
Being faithful in prayer, we pray for our persecutors (among others especially the Fulanis today) that God grants them light to see the truth, and the grace of mercy and forgiveness, for they know not what they do.
‘To stand with the suffering at the foot of today’s crosses is not necessarily to do anything; rather it is to make present the compassionate presence of Christ’.
Joining these prayers, we indeed set-up Christ's presence in our present today!
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