(Voice of the Persecuted) Information is coming in that the violent protests in Niger are having a much larger impact than first perceived, or reported. It was also brought to our attention of claims that Boko Haram is either endorsing, or played a part in the attacks on churches during the demonstrations. These protests across the Islamic world were in response to a satirical weekly in France depicting their prophet. The magazine is secular not a Christian publication, but was used as an excuse to attack Christians. Though we have not received confirmation, it was reported that the Boko Haram flag was seen during the protests. We have also been told the numbers of churches attacked are under reported, with greater effects than expected.
Niamey (Agenzia Fides) – The Bishops of Niger have suspended “until further notice” all the activities of the Catholic Church (schools, health centers, charitable activities), “following the looting of churches and infrastructure of our institutions, and the desecration of our places of worship”. This is what is said in a statement sent to Agenzia Fides after various churches and religious communities of Niger suffered extensive damage because of demonstrators protesting against the publication of the French weekly Charlie Hebdo (see Fides 21/01/2015). “The measure – continues the note – will allow us to pray and to read, in serenity, the painful events that we have suffered”. “They thank very warmly all those who have expressed their solidarity in these difficult times” the Bishops conclude. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 22/01/2015)
This week, the leader of Boko Haram released a new video challenging and warning the “Kings of Africa.” He singles out the Niger President. These threats must be taken seriously.
He threatened war with Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad for having sympathy with Paris. He told the leaders he had enough weaponry to annihilate Nigeria and burned the Nigerian flag. According to the Daily Mail to the President of Niger, he said : “Is this your true character? Muhammed Yusuf, you have amazed us. You shall soon see our wrath, very soon.” He also had this to say to Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathon:
“Jonathan you are in trouble. All governors of Nigeria are in trouble. All these war equipment that you see being displayed in the screen are gotten from Baga and Doro. ‘Your army kept deceiving the world that you can’t fight us because you have no arms. Liars! You have all that it takes; you are just coward soldiers. You forgot that it is God that arms. Is it not amazing that we, who started with sticks and machetes, are today the biggest headache to the almighty Nigerian soldiers? What a shame.’ ‘This is just the beginning of the killings; what you’ve just witnessed is a tip of the iceberg; more deaths are coming.”
In northeast Nigeria, Boko Haram has put in place a “caliphate” the size of Belgium. Akin to IS, exanding their jihad to neighboring borders. The Nigerian government is either incapable, or too corrupt to contain the militants. W. African State officials met in Niger to discuss forming a multinational task-force to combat the militants. But believe it will not have enough impact, unless Nigeria addresses it’s own difficulties.
Religious leaders have been pleading for Western nations to intervene. The situation has become so dire they believe this is the only way Boko Haram can stopped to save Christians in the region.
It is no secret that the main persecutors of Christians are Islamic. But the widespread outbreak is still the least talked about oppression in the world, today.
Voice of the Persecuted’s Prayer warriors are currently praying vigorously for the people of Nigeria and Niger. We are praying for the attackers and for the attacks to stop. For leaders in these countries to have the courage to confront this. We are praying for protection, comfort and strength, we pray that God will give them a renewed spirit. But most of all endurance, to stand with unshakable faith. These soul’s are precious in God’s sight.