Nigeria (MNN) — 2022 is on pace to be a record year for violence against Christians in Nigeria.
BBC News reports that the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project recorded 31 attacks on churches and people linked to them in 2021. Halfway through 2022, there have been more than 23 separate attacks on believers. ACLED recorded 46 attacks against Christian targets in 2012.
“We’re hearing stories [of persecution] weekly,” The Voice of the Martyrs Canada spokesman Greg Musselman says.
“There are so many things going on in Nigeria it is hard to keep track. But God sees it, and that’s why we need to partner with Him in praying and supporting our brothers and sisters in Christ.”
Last Sunday’s massacre in southwest Nigeria and an earlier kidnapping of Samuel Kanu, the head of Nigeria’s Methodist Church, captured the world’s attention. Sadly, events like these are all too common.
On June 5, the same Sunday that gunmen stormed St. Andrews Catholic Church and killed dozens, militants killed 32 people in four villages in Nigeria’s northwestern state of Kaduna.
On Sunday evening, June 11, armed bandits kidnapped an Anglican bishop, his wife, and their driver.
“The [source of] struggle and disappointment for church leaders, and a lot of anger is the government. [Leaders ask,] ‘Why are they not doing more?’” Musselman says.
“We heard [about] one attack where the military knew it was going to happen, but they said, ‘Well, we didn’t get the orders from the higher-ups [to do anything].’ So, these Christians were massacred.”
VOM Canada helps persecuted Christians throughout Nigeria. According to Open Doors, Nigeria led the world in the number of believers killed for their faith last year and trailed only China in church attacks.
Pray for strength and courage for Nigerian church leaders.
“Pastors have been kidnapped and then killed as a warning to stop trying to spread Christianity. They’re in constant danger, but they believe God has called them to do what they’re doing, and they’re not going to be stopped by fear.”
Header image courtesy of VOM Canada.