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NIGERIA (1): CHRISTIAN CRISIS IN KADUNA
Part 2 will be the subject of next week's RLPB 562
By Elizabeth Kendal
|Nigeria's Sharia divide|
(click on map to enlarge)
|Kaduna State (southern states labeled)|
(click on map to enlarge)
On 16 July Fulani militants attacked several villages in Kachia LGA, killing four residents and abducting 32. On 17 July Fulani militants murdered Mr Ayuba Bulus on his farm in Kajuru LGA. Later that day, they looted and destroyed a property in the nearby Efele settlement, killing Gloria Shagari (25) and her children Dorcas (6) and Faith (3), as well as Ayuba Bulus (40) and Hussaini Daudu (40). Another victim, Baptist church leader Reverend Thomas Gambo, remains in hospital in a critical condition. On Sunday 19 July at around 10.30 pm, Fulani militants armed with guns and machetes attacked a wedding reception at a home in Kaura LGA, killing 18 and wounding 31. This was only one of several attacks in Kaura LGA that night. On 20 July at around 7pm, nine people were killed and an unknown number wounded when Fulani militants attacked another village in Zangon-Kataf LGA. On 24 July at around 7pm, ten people were killed when Fulani militants attacked Zikpak town in Jema'a LGA. The dead include ECWA pastor, the Rev Shamah Kuyet Ishaya, Daniel Bala (49) who was walking home from church choir practice, and a five-year-old boy named Joel Cephas.
|Mourning the dead, Zikpak (24 July 2020)|
source: the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU);
for this and more images: France 24
On 23 July hundreds of Atyap women [the Atyap being the indigenous people of the Zangon-Kataf, Kaura and Jema'a LGAs] demonstrated at Atak Njei Agwam Atyap palace [the palace of the traditional ruler of Atyap people] in Zangon-Kataf to express their sorrow and anger over the massacres. The women describe their communities as being 'under siege by herdsmen' and wonder why the government is not doing anything to protect them. 'Our husbands, children and relations are being slaughtered like rams on a daily basis, and this government is just watching. Our lives don't matter to this government. We can't go to our farms, we can't go to the markets, and we are not safe even in our homes. So where do we run?' The women lamented that they have become refugees in their own land, saying many of the villagers were moving to IDP camps for their own safety.
|When Fulani militants attacked Kajuru LGA in early June, they killed all of Mrs Azumi Boka’s eleven children. The blind 93-year-old recounts her ordeal through streams of tears. ‘I am one of the oldest women in our community’, she says. ‘I have never experienced such calamity. I never knew someday I will wake-up being chase away from my ancestral land by Fulani herdsmen whom we have lived with for decades. Why am I even alive? Should I blame God for allowing this kind of calamity to befall me? Why me God?’|
'Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children ...' (from Lamentations 2:19 ESV)
PLEASE PRAY THAT OUR ALMIGHTY GOD WILL
* counsel, comfort and sustain Nigeria's suffering Church, particularly those who are this day grieving the loss of loved ones, nursing physical and psychological wounds, lamenting loss of security and struggling between doubt and faith, despair and hope. Lord, have mercy.
* intervene in Nigeria and especially at this time in Kaduna where insecurity and violence are particularly severe; may a revived Church keep trusting her God; and may the Lord establish justice, righteousness and peace in the land, and empower those who would 'turn back the battle at the gate' (Isaiah 28:5-6 ESV).
* bless and protect all who risk much to share the Gospel with Hausa-Fulani Muslims as the Lord Jesus Christ continues to build his Church in Nigeria's volatile North and Middle Belt.
SUMMARY FOR BULLETINS UNABLE TO RUN THE WHOLE ARTICLE
CHRISTIAN CRISIS IN KADUNA, NIGERIA
Kaduna State straddles Nigeria's ethnic-religious fault-line. The north is predominantly Hausa-Fulani Muslim while southern Kaduna is populated by numerous predominantly Christian ethnic groups. Fulani militant attacks on villages in southern Kaduna have escalated markedly. In July alone, more than 120, mostly Christian villagers, were killed - shot, hacked or burnt to death, often in their beds. Many more have been wounded. Thousands of villagers have been displaced and are now being cared for in church-run camps. Despite the southern regions being under a 24-hour curfew, Fulani militants move freely, murdering, terrorising and ethnically cleansing at will; nobody is ever arrested! Neither the government nor the security services seem willing or able to provide security. Southern Kaduna's imperilled and traumatised Christians need our prayers. Please pray for the Church in Nigeria.
She has authored two books: Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today (Deror Books, Melbourne, Australia, Dec 2012) which offers a Biblical response to persecution and existential threat; and After Saturday Comes Sunday: Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East (Wipf and Stock, Eugene, OR, USA, June 2016).