(Voice of the Persecuted) “Pray for us!!!! All we need now is prayer.” This is echoed in our communications with Fr. Gideon of the Maiduguri Diocese in Nigeria, then again, last night during the FIRE in FEBRUARY prayer conference call event. While on the call, he described to us how the church has been beaten down, the people battle weary, horror scenes described in detail. They are left feeling lost and alone. At present, there are 2 million IDP’s (Internally Displaced People) in the country. Thousands flock to the churches to find refuge and not unusual to see 3,000 in one church.
Most of the churches have been destroyed, razed or burned. Everything with the symbol of Christ or worship is attacked. Those fleeing are forced to leave behind injured family members unable to travel. The guilt and sorrow connected with this, alone is immeasurable. The hospitals and clinics are overflowing with children, widows and the elderly. Bodies are burned, and families are separated. It has become normal to see the many who’ve had their limbs ‘chopped off’ by the brutal demonic force, Boko Haram. He told of a 6 year old child that has not seen his parents for 6 months, not knowing if they are alive or dead. There are thousands of precious children forced to look into the face of abomination and desolation. He describes the cries of parents who have been separated from their children during the chaos, or abduction. How they’re all praying for loved ones to be found to be reunited again. He lamented of the devastating heartbreak of parents whose little ones have been slaughtered by the radical militants. We must pray for the heavy burden God has place on the church leaders, as they spend many hours counselling the broken and encouraging them in faith to press on.
There are countless widows and children who have been stripped of their protector, their mate. This is what Boko Haram does, they kill, kidnap, rape and torture. The men are killed and often the women are taken and forced into marriage with Boko Haram members. Forced into a life of slavery and adherence to an evil ideology. They do this to get the children and grow their caliphate. They indoctrinate, and train the children in hate. They teach them that to die in attacks and suicide bombings is to gain paradise.
It takes about a year to fully indoctrinate a child. Can you imagine indoctrination that has it’s end in a child wanting to die? Wanting to kill? Unimaginable for us in the west. The media’s attention has been taken away from the plight of the girls from Chibok. We are told that they were mostly Christian. Reality is very few of those precious girls have made it to safety. The horror they are enduring would drive anyone absolutely mad.
Unable to supply basic needs for their children, these Christian widows also become prey for Muslim men living in the area. They are promised they will be lifted from their burden if they convert to Islam and marry these men. Relocating these families to Christian areas where Christians can rally around them and encourage their faith becomes extremely important.
Can you imagine witnessing so much death, dismemberment, torture, rape, and chaos that you don’t know where to turn? The government has been unable, or negligent to stop this evil without a clear plan to care for the victims. Overwhelmed, the church is struggling to meet the great physical and spiritual needs of these people. The church in Nigeria is crying out for help, intervention and peace. And they are crying out to the entire body of Christ for prayer.
They often feel helpless to protect their children, their wives, their elderly, yet their faith in Christ remains even in tatters. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to evil ravaging your town, your house, killing and maiming and demanding that you bow to them. If you want to live, if you want to eat, you must submit, pressured that they (as evil as they are) are your only hope. Knowing full well who they are and what they do, what would you choose? Knowing that at any moment the military could come in and kill you, because they won’t recognize the fact that you are innocent. Frightened by evil which wears no insignia, no banners in fact they pride themselves in blending in with the populace.
We hear over and over from the persecuted in Africa, Pakistan, and the Middle East, what have we done? What’s wrong with us that we should be treated this way? Why can’t we live in peace? I work hard and yet I’m singled out and not allowed to even provide for myself, let alone my family. The only crime they have committed is to profess Christ. If you were faced with being hacked to death would you profess Christ, or would you deny him just to escape death? Father Gideon tells us that fear is a great tool of satan, fear of death. But he reminds us that we can not fear death or the enemy, for he can only take our life, but the enemy can take our soul if we are enticed into believing we have to denounce our Lord. Pray for courage.
The government leaders are embroiled in a fight for leadership, accusing each other of backing, funding and even creating this very evil they claim to be fighting. Imagine the confusion and chaos. The truth is you can’t turn to man, you can only turn to God. What happens when the churches are overfilled? What happens when the Body of Christ in the West turns it’s cheek and say’s we can’t watch? Take a good look, because it is happening to our brethren, today. How long must this genocide go on? How much more can they endure? Yet endurance is what they are asking for. Prayer is what they are asking for. When your faced with the gates of Hell, prayer is our most powerful weapon. The name of Jesus is our power. We have asked our brethren how we can pray for them and this is their reply,
(Fr. Gideon Obasogie, Communications Director Of The Diocese of Maiduguri)The diocese of Maiduguri has suffered greatly from the terrorist activities of the radical Islamist sect. From the waves of recent attacks, we have seen how a group of miscreants has successfully snowballed into a sophisticated and ferocious terrorist network capable of pulling down Nations. We have come to witness a culture of savagery and bloodletting over the years.A huge damage has been done already and we are still experiencing an on going large scale of man slaughter. The mayhem inflicted on helpless Christians is awesome and irreparable. Lives have been lost and thousands are internally displaced, while the ample opportunity for growth and progress have been truncated.The diocese is currently faced with the challenge of caring for the IDPs, widows and Orphans.Pray with us!!!!!!
- “For the safe release and return of all abducted and kidnapped people of Nigeria”.
- “For all those killed or injured resulting from Boko Haram related violence. We pray also for the widows and orphans”.
- “For all security agents who have lost life, limb and property in the service of their fatherland.”
- “For all those who have been forced to flee their homes or villages because of the violence and persecution in Nigeria.”
- “For the eradication of corruption and the promotion of justice in Nigeria.”
- “For family values, the institution of the family and the protection of human life in Nigeria.”
- “For unity, peace and good governance in Nigeria”.
- We pray that our merciful God show us His mercy and heal this dear country. Amen.
Voice of the Persecuted is an interdenominational organization standing with and stepping up for the persecuted. 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!