Nigeria (MNN) – Nigerian Christians in Plateau State have received letters from Muslim extremists threatening attack, and they’re taking it seriously.
Since May, over 450 believers have been killed in targeted attacks across northern Nigeria. Yet, Greg Kelley with World Mission says these threats stand out.
“The thing that’s most concerning to me is the location of it,” Kelley says. “Plateau State is very much in the center of Nigeria.
“Now, in the past, we’ve been talking about these atrocities and the challenges and the attacks and the killings and the violence. It’s all primarily happening in the northeast/northwest areas of Nigeria. This is very much right in central Nigeria, which is incredibly concerning…. It feels like things are really moving south and there’s a real intentionality to it.”
The conflict is farmers who are mostly Christian and the Muslim Fulani who are cattle herders.
Locals in Hukke Village, Riyom, and Barkin Ladi received these letters written in Hausa, the Fulani language. The letter also expressed no desire for peace with the Christians.
Kelley says, “I really believe, at the end of the day, this is a spiritual battle because Nigeria is the most strategic country in the entire continent of Africa. You have over 220 million people living there – by far the most populated country. It’s located right in the central part of Africa.”
The best way to calm the ongoing conflict in northern Nigeria is with more efforts to bring the Gospel.
World Mission sends solar-powered audio Bibles called Treasures into northern Nigeria, specifically to reach Muslim communities with God’s Word.
Kelley says Christian survivors of attacks also need counseling and the support of the Body of Christ. “It’s not easy to preach the Gospel to the oppressed and the brokenhearted and the traumatized. These people need food, they need water, they’ve lost their home, and then that doesn’t even mention the issue of the safety of the missionary.
“There’s a lot of challenges that are going on, but God is able. We have to continue to pray for Nigeria that there would be peace.”
Pray for the Gospel to take root in northern Nigeria, and for protection against any threats of attack for Christians in central Nigeria.
Header photo courtesy of World Mission.