Nigeria (MNN) — A school, a police station, and banks are the latest targets of the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram. More than 300 people have been killed since the beginning of the year. These attacks have Christians fearing for their lives since the terrorist group declared war on Christians.
Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs says, "The Boko Haram is basically attacking everything that they view as western, or everything they view as government controlling, and that includes police stations as well as churches, Christian schools, and other overtly-Christian places."
Why? Nettleton says, "Early this year, they made the announcement that they wanted Northern Nigeria to be completely free of Christians, basically telling the Christians there that you must leave, or you must convert to Islam, or you will die."
The Boko Haram attacks used to be sporadic, Nettleton says. "Now, it's almost coming day after day after day. There's a new target. There's a new attack. It really seems like the Nigerian government is incapable of bringing the situation under control."
Apart from Christ, there doesn't appear to be any answers. The Nigerian government says they want to negotiate with Boko Haram, however. Nettleton isn't thrilled with this decision. "The Boko Haram has really given no indication that they're willing to compromise. They want Sharia law. They want Northern Nigeria to be Islamic. They want everyone there to be Islam. They really have been uncompromising."
Christians have been the targets of many of the attacks, and The Voice of the Martyrs has a program specifically to help them. Nettleton says it's called VOM Medical. "It's basically a medical care project to go in immediately after persecution situations — whether it be a church bombing, or an attack on a Christian — to be able to provide medical help in the immediate aftermath."
VOM is raising money because of the increasing number of attacks on Christians worldwide. "The money is given so that we can act immediately when there's an event, when there's a case,"
While you may think that Christians are cowering in fear, that's just not the case. Nettleton observes, "There's a lot about the persecuted church that's just amazing, but that willingness to go back into harms way [is incredible]. The other thing that is amazing is the ability to forgive the people who attacked you."
VOM Medical not only meets physical needs, but they also help spiritually.