Will President Buhari’s second term bring change for Christians in Nigeria?

By April 30, 2019

Nigeria (MNN) – Nigeria’s election has come to an end. President Muhammadu Buhari, who has served as the country’s leader since 2015, will serve a second four-year term.

Under President Buhari, the nation has fought against the terrorist group, Boko Haram, and religious-related attacks in certain areas. In northern areas of Nigeria, in particular, Christians have faced many attacks and been targeted because of their faith.

Religious Attacks in Nigeria

On March 18, 2019, PREMIUM TIMES reports that Boko Haram militants attacked Michika, a Christian-majority town in northern Nigeria. Nigerian soldiers responded. However, before troops arrived, many people from Michika were forced to flee and others were killed.

Morning Star News also reports the attack of Christians in the Kaduna state by Fulani herdsmen on March 16. They said about 10 people were killed, including children, and 30 houses were burned.

With this attack, a total of 130 Christians have killed by Fulani herdsmen in Kajuru County in Kaduna state between February 10, 2019 and March 16, 2019 .

“When the Fulani come into a village and attack, they specifically ask which houses do the Christians live in? Where does the Church meet?” Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton says.

“Those houses are targeted, and sometimes, the Muslim house right between two Christian houses is left completely alone, and the two Christians’ houses are burned to the ground. This is Christians being targeted and attacked. It’s not sort of random violence.”

There is ongoing pressure and attacks of believers in Nigeria.

“The sad news is it’s become so common that we don’t even notice if another Church was attacked in Nigeria. It’s not newsworthy because it happens all the time.”

Last year, President Donald Trump addressed the persecution of Christians in Nigeria with President Buhari and encouraged Nigeria to take action and “to protect innocent civilians of all faiths including Muslims and including Christians.”

President Trump acknowledged President’s Buhari fight against terrorist groups but pointed out the conflict between the Fulani herdsmen and Christians must stop.

Will change happen in Nigeria?

Now in his second term, will President Buhari bring any change for persecuted believers in Nigeria?

“Our expectations are it’s going to be more of the same there. There’s going to be attacks. The government will say things about how they’re going to respond and how they’re going to get control of the situation. But, one of the stories that we hear consistently in these attacks in northern Nigeria is that some of the attackers had military uniform. Some of the attackers had military weapons,” Nettleton says.

“So, it’s hard to imagine that in his second term, there will be some dramatic shift in how Christians and churches are being protected in northern Nigeria that we haven’t seen over the last four years.”

(Photo courtesy of Voice of the Martyrs via Facebook)

Nettleton encourages believers to not ignore the news of persecution of believers in the field.

“We can’t grow numb. We can’t just say it was another attack in Nigeria, and then go on into our week as if nothing happened. These are our family members. These are our brothers and sisters, and they are laying down their lives to go to Church on Sunday, to follow Christ, even just to be a Christian.”

Pray for change in Nigeria. Pray President Buhari will use his second term to address religious persecution taking place in his country.

Also, praise the Lord as many Muslims in Nigeria are putting their faith in Him.

“Thousands of Fulani are now following Jesus Christ. So there is a good side to this story. Let’s not grow weary in paying attention to it or in praying for our brothers and sisters there.”



Header photo courtesy of Voice of the Martyrs via Facebook.

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