Nigeria (MNN) — Nigeria's downward spiral continues as the Boko Haram kills an influential Christian leader.
"Reverend Faye Pama Musa was killed on Tuesday. He's Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Borno state," says Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra.
That same day, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno state and two others. According to reports, Boko Haram violence has claimed over 250 lives in the past month alone.
According to Dystra, Musa's assassination is a bad sign coming from the Boko Haram.
"In the past they've targeted Christian churches, but now they're targeting individual pastors," Dykstra explains. "It's…something that's really troublesome, and certainly Christians in the West need to keep on praying."
An Open Doors report says Musa, who was also the presiding pastor of REME Assembly, Maiduguri, was trailed to his house Tuesday evening by two gunmen.
"He attempted to run away, but his assailants closed in on him. They [gunmen] shot him at close range," a source said.
Ask the Lord to comfort Reverend Musa's family. Open Doors' Nigeria team leader knew Musa personally and says the victim was a friend of their ministry.
"I remember a time I asked him a question, whether he would consider leaving Maiduguri if it became necessary for his safety, and he said to me, 'Where am I going to run to? I will stay here and die,'" the Open Doors leader shared.
Before declaring a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states, Nigeria's president spoke words of reassurance.
"While the efforts at persuasion and dialogue will continue, let me reiterate that we have a sacred duty to ensure the security and well-being of all our people," President Goodluck Jonathan stated on Tuesday.
"Therefore, we shall on no account shy away from doing whatever becomes necessary to provide the fullest possible security for the citizens of this country in any part of the country they choose to reside."
Some aren't buying it, Dykstra says.
"President Goodluck Jonathan has said they will go after them and said they're terrorists and they'll really get after them. But the problem is that he's said that before," Dykstra explains.
"There are a lot of conflicting thoughts about his sincerity."
Pray that peace would come to Nigeria. Pray also for Nigeria's president.
"He is a Christian, and we need to pray that he'll have wisdom. As things just seem like they're snowballing and snowballing, he really needs our prayer."
Over the next two months, Open Doors team members will be traveling to some of the most difficult areas of Northern Nigeria: Yobe, Gombe, Kano, Taraba, Bauchi, and Plateau. They'll be bringing emergency relief to Christians affected by Boko Haram activity.
Relief aid will consist of:
– Assistance to 35 Yobe pastors with monthly allowance for 6 months
– Assistance to 4 Wukari pastors in the form of food and clothing, rent, replacement of destroyed study materials, and school fees for children
– Assistance in the form of food and clothing, rent assistance, and school fee support to 74 widows in Bauchi (5), Gombe (6), Bokkos (6), Dajal (5), Wase (21), Kano (31)
– Medical Assistance to two men affected by random Boko Haram attacks
– Financial assistance to 8 families of slain factory workers and one additional person in Kano
– Helping 30 families to rebuild their homes
– Helping 20 Kano bomb blast victims to cover medical bills
– Support to 6 Bauchi and Kano churches to rebuild after they were destroyed in violence