Nigeria (MNN) — Christians across northern Nigeria are closing their windows and posting guards at their entrances. Attendance has decreased significantly in many congregations as believers brace themselves for what may be to come.
AFP News reports that militant Islamists, members of the sect Boko Haram, have threatened attacks across Nigeria. Compass Direct reports that Christians fear they may become scapegoats for a commemorative assault in honor of the extremist group's late leader.
Nigerian Christ-followers are not new to such attacks. Many believers and church members have lost lives in the past to attacks by Muslim extremists. Recent overt threats made to the Nigerian military have forced Christians to take caution.
The timing is tricky for Christian Resources International. Just last week they sent a crate of Christian teaching tools, Bibles and literature to Nigeria. The shipment is not expected to reach Nigeria for another three weeks, and in the meantime, the ministry is praying it won't be disrupted.
Executive director Jason Woolford says CRI experienced a few bumps in the road right off the bat. "With this particular container that's going to Nigeria, basically the government had come to us and told us that they needed to know by line item every single thing that was in every single box."
With the added concern of possible militancy, Woolford says the ministry has put their trust in God to keep the resources and their recipients–who are spread out all across the country–safe.
If anything, says Woolford, this is further confirmation that Nigeria is in desperate need of the Word. "When you look at a 50-50 split [of Islam and Christianity in Nigeria], that equates to 45% of people in this particular area that are headed to hell. And we know that the only way they're going to be saved is through the Name and the blood of Jesus Christ."
And, Woolford adds, "The only way they're going to find that out is through his Word."
"This container has about 30,000 Bibles and Christian pieces of literature that will hopefully change the hearts of those who read them," says Woolford. Pray that the literature might get into the hands of even some of these Muslim extremists.
Pray that believers who receive the materials would take it even to the darkest depths of their nation, where Christ has yet to be preached.
CRI has five more container shipments planned for 2011 in other volatile regions. You can help provide the materials needed to transform nations for Christ by sending Bibles and Christian literature to the CRI headquarters. Learn more about how to get involved here.