(Voice of the Persecuted) Though the Middle East saw a mass exodus of Christians, the by-product of targeted attacks, Africa has seen the most extreme rise of persecution. For the first time, Nigeria was added to the top 10 on the World Watch List, a compilation by Open Doors of the year’s top persecuted nations.
All headlines relating to Nigeria say the same thing, Boko Haram has attacked in one of the worst yet recorded in the nation. It can be very hard to read the reports and talk to those on the ground. In one report, a man who fled an attack, stepped on bodies for a distance of 3 miles. How can one even begin to imagine these evil acts and this horrific scene? Practically inconceivable for us in the West.
As we read of the atrocities and follow up with our contacts for factual updates, we find the situation is much worse than what’s being reported by the MSM. The distress we see in their faces and hear in their voices tell a horrifying story. Those fortunate enough to escape or live in an area that is somewhat safer, feel guilty. The situation of needs are beyond human comprehension. Agencies, and the others coming to their aid are overwhelmed. The majority refusing to go into the middle of the conflict. This is where suffering is most unbearable. The situation has grown so extreme with so little aid coming in, the distraught say, “nothing can be done, not enough care about us.” It’s heartbreaking. We have learned that at least 100 pastors and their families were forced to flee with the latest attacks, leaving even fewer safe havens for those who fled to save their lives. Women and children are the most vulnerable, as they are often not fast enough to escape the attackers.
In last week’s attacks, malicious militants of the Boko Haram strapped bombs on little girls no older than age 10, forcing them to become suicide bombers.
Saturday, Jan. 11 at a market in the city of Maiduguri, witnesses claimed seeing explosive devices wrapped around a young girl’s body that detonated when she was stopped at a security check point. 20 were killed and injured scores. A Red Cross official said the blast split the child suicide bomber in two, throwing one half of her little body across the road. On Sunday, a day later, two 10-year-old girls were blown up at a crowded market in the town of Potiskum. 4 were killed and at least a dozen injured in the bomb attack. Witnesses said one of the girls looked frightened and tried to run when the other girl detonated, but she too exploded. They saw one little body cut in two and body parts strewn everywhere. The partial corpse of the other girl was pulled out of the debris.
10 year old, innocent, little girls who should be reading books, playing with dolls, pretending to be princesses, or looking forward to another day at school. These precious children indoctrinated, many forced into an ideology, then used as pawns to kill. Their young lives snuffed out before they could begin.
These actions are reminiscent of the ‘Lords Resistance Army. These bands of cowards are kidnapping, raping, torturing, then strapping bombs onto precious children using them as killing machines. One publication featured by Yahoo News states that an official in Nigeria said that this was something new. It’s not new, the LRA, Al-Queda, the Taliban, ISIS and all the other like groups have used these same tactics for years, albeit with mostly boys. They send the children to training camps and teach them to kill and die in the name of their god, promising paradise. The use of teenagers and young girls has increased over the past few years. Abhorrent and unbelievable. Children are the world’s greatest treasure, our future. The world’s next generation of doctors, scientists, teachers and leaders, both spiritual and governmental. What better way to destroy a society, religion or freedom than to destroy the future generation?
Quoting the Daily Mail while reporting on these attacks and their use of children:
The UN children’s fund said harrowing reports from survivors of the attack and the use of 10-year-old girls as human bombs ‘should be searing the conscience of the world’.
‘Words alone can neither express our outrage nor ease the agony of all those suffering from the constant violence in northern Nigeria,’ UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake said in a statement.
‘But these images of recent days and all they imply for the future of Nigeria should galvanise effective action. For this cannot go on.’
The use of children in attacks has gained the attention of actress Angelina Jolie, a special envoy to the UN. She is calling for governments around the world to help gather evidence and bring the ‘perpetrators’ to justice. There is one thing wrong with that, the world knows the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity. How about calling for the same solidarity shown in Paris, or world-wide support for aide to those suffering. We are attempting to retrieve accurate numbers of refugees. In media reports concerned about the upcoming elections, say thousands have been displaced making it difficult to hold accurate polling places. We understand the need for free elections, and a government in this time of need, but can we turn our focus on the dying and suffering people who need us so desperately?
Second only to Syria, Nigeria ranks highest for displaced persons. In the latest obtainable figures, 3.3 Million Nigerians are displaced. The numbers for the whole of Africa are staggering. 12.5 million in 21 of the sub-Saharan countries. And has not been cause by from tribal violence alone. As we have been reporting for the last year, this super-highway of terror is spreading from the Middle East to Africa. Instead of the suffering people, it appears the world’s focus is on the riches of the continent such as oil, minerals, and precious metals. It cares more about wealth and trade—than human lives.
Religious leaders are begging for the world’s attention, but we fear the cries of the suffering are going unheeded. To the world, they seem invisible. May God forgive us.
Some of the workers in Nigeria are even praying for God to release them of this burden. Depression setting in and overwhelming helplessness at the sights they see with the knowledge support will most likely never reach them. Please pray for a refreshing of their spirit to continue with the work God has laid before them.
We are following a heartbreaking story of an infant who at two weeks old was orphaned with over 40 children in a recent attack. We, in the organization call him, Moses. The child in a dangerous area and it can be difficult at times to obtain updates of his well-being. We are pray for the health, care and safety of the children. We have been given a daunting task, as the need is so great that we must triage who to help. We believed God has called us to focus on the severity of need for the widows and orphans. If it is on your heart and you’re able, please partner with us to care for them.
Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate their suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you have greatly blessed others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!