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Heavily armed, Boko Haram fighters attack Borno State capital in Nigeria’s northeast

Heavily armed, suspected Boko Haram fighters  launched attacks in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital in Nigeria’s northeast region. Residents scattered as gunshots were heard being fired in all directions of the Jiddari Polo area.

Security authorities say they have repelled the Boko Haram members. In a text, Brigadier General Sani Usman, Director of Army Public Relations, told people not to panic or flee as the military had the situation under control. Tense after hearing gunshots for a long period of time, many decided to leave their homes and sought safety in nearby locations. Locals residents are asking for our prayers.

During a national broadcast a week ago, it was reported that acting President Yemi Osinbajo said the government had re-organized, equipped the armed forces, and inspired them to heroic feats the against the Boko Haram insurgency. He said that the terrorist group which openly challenged the sovereignty and continued existence of Nigeria through killing, maiming, and abduction, causing the displacement of the largest number of citizens had now been routed.

The acting President was expected to visit Maiduguri, tomorrow and distribute relief material directly to thousands of victims of the Boko Haram.

Please pray we will soon see an end to the notorious group.

Voice of the Persecuted is on the ground in Nigeria to care for our Christians experiencing brutal persecution. If you would like to show your love and support for those who’ve faced unimaginable persecution, please support our Nigerian mission project, today.

We are committed to being a VOICE for persecuted Nigerian Christians and bring them comfort, relief, and encouragement. We have committed to a long-term mission in Nigeria. When they are able to return home, we will be there to encourage and help rebuild villages and their lives. They will not be forgotten!

We want you to know that even in great hardship, they thank God and feel extremely blessed that He has kept His hand on orphan-306x4601them. They have been so encouraged and thankful for each one of you who have joined this mission through your prayers and support. Your gifts have brought so many smiles. THANK YOU!

Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.

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Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
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Suicide Bombers attack capital of Borno State

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(Voice of the Persecuted) Nigeria:  Two suicide bombers attacked the Kashuwa Shanu market in Maiduguri, the capital city of Borno State on Monday morning. The attack follows Nigerian President Buhari’s statement circulated on Christmas Day, which  declared a major victory against Boko Haram insurgents and announced the fall of the last enclave of Boko Haram militants in Sambisa forests to Nigerian troops. (more…)

Urgent Prayer Request Gun Battle and Explosions in North Nigeria

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(Voice of the Persecuted) While praying on the call with a church leader in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital in Nigeria, he informed us an explosion had just taken place on the outskirts of the city. We learned more explosions and an intense gun battle was taking place. Residents fled Dalori village as Boko Haram insurgents attacked. We are told the entire village was on fire and everyone was panicking. Fleeing villagers fear many have been injured or killed in the attack.

Please pray for Nigeria and the faithful who have suffered intensely. Pray for their faith to increase and that they will endure all trials in Christ, our Lord. In the name of Jesus, we pray they will have peace, protection and rest. We pray for the end of the conflict in Nigeria. Thank you, Father for the opportunity to love, be connected, hear their voices and pray for our Nigerian brothers and sisters. Glory to You, forever and ever! Amen

Jan. 31, 2016 READ UPDATE

Boko Haram Suicide Attacks Continue – U.S. Deploys Troops

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On Saturday suspected Boko Haram militants attacked Dar village in Adamawa state where gunman shot at those fleeing and two women detonated themselves in their midst.

The Boko Haram uses women and young girls, some as young as 10 yrs. old, in it’s terror campaign in North Nigeria. Explosives hidden under their clothing make it easier for them to go undetected compared to men. It is also thought the group may have used kidnapped females to carry out these atrocities. In one report, a girl told authorities she had been given by her father, a Boko Haram member to be used as a suicide bomber in the cause. She resisted, but when she saw another girl who refused partially buried in the ground then stoned to death, she realized if she did not agree she to would also suffer the horrific death of stoning.

On Friday, at least 13 people were killed on the outskirts of Maiduguri in two attacks by female suicide bombers.

Boko Haram attacks have been on the rise as they use suicide bombers for the cause of mass casualties. To raise the number of victims, they often detonate multiple bombs aimed at killing those fleeing the attack or those coming to care for the injured.

Boko Haram seeks to create a state with the strictest interpretation of Islamic sharia law in the region. The group originated in the city of Maiduguri as Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, which in Arabic means “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad.”  But North Nigerians called it Boko Haram, which can be translated from the Hausa language, “Western education is forbidden.”

Nigeria’s Boko Haram, which pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State earlier this year, is now trying to convince the Somali jihadist organisation al-Shabaab to split with Al Qaeda and join Islamic State, reported the Breitbart News Network.

According to the report, Islamic State (IS) had reached out to al-Shabaab shortly before accepting Boko Haram’s allegiance. IS sent a message to the “emir” of al-Shabaab to follow Boko Haram’s example. The message praised al-Shabaab as “brothers in Somalia” and called on them to launch attacks “inside Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia”.

U.S. President Obama is sending 300 U.S. troops to help fight the Boko Haram terrorists. 90 U.S. troops were deployed on Monday.

 

Two Attempted Murders by Boko Haram Show Islamic Extremist Motives

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Boko Haram members cut the back of the neck of Adamu, a Christian in Gwoza, Borno state. (Morning Star News)

Morning Star News) – Adamu, 28, bears a scar on the back of his neck where two members of the Islamic extremist group Boko Harm tried to slaughter him.

A member of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) in Gwoza, Borno state in northeastern Nigeria, Adamu told Morning Star News that in April 2013 he was working on his bean farm in Musari village, in the Mungono area, when a member of the insurgent Boko Haram approached him.

“He told me to convert to Islam and join them in waging a jihad to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria,” said Adamu, whose surname is withheld for security reasons. “I told him that I will not renounce my Christian faith in order to embrace Islam. He left me there on my farm without saying anything again.”

Two days later, five other members of Boko Haram showed up. The insurgency is fighting to impose strict sharia (Islamic law) throughout Nigeria.

“They said their member told them that I refused to renounce being a Christian and wanted to know whether it is true that I refused to become a Muslim,” Adamu said, adding that he told them it was true. “They then told me that since I refused to recant, they would kill me.”

When he refused their order to lie down, they seized him and tied his hands and legs behind his back, he said.

“They pinned me down and told me they will make death painful and slow, as they are not prepared to waste their bullets on me,” he said. “They also said they would not give me the honor of slaughtering me by cutting my neck from the front, because that is the way they slaughter their rams.

“They forced me down on my stomach and then proceeded to slaughter me by cutting my neck from the back. I was bleeding and went blank as the knife cut through my neck. It was pains I cannot explain to you. After cutting my neck, they left me bleeding.”

Adamu lay there for days, he said, adding that his survival was miraculous; only later would he learn that the Boko Haram members had threatened to kill anyone in the village who helped him.

“It was only after I was taken to the hospital that I was told that the Boko Haram members who attacked me on the farm had gone to the village shortly after leaving me bleeding to death and had warned other Muslims that if any of them dares to rescue me, he would be killed,” he said. “They sternly warned other Muslims in Musari, ‘We have butchered an infidel there on his farm. Be warned that if any of you Muslims dares to assist him, he is also an infidel and we shall make sure that he too is killed.”

Though the villagers were afraid to rescue him, eventually a member of his church snuck onto the farm and found him alive, he said.

“He went back to the village and mobilized some of our church members who came to the farm and took me away,” Adamu said.

They took him to a Christian hospital in Cameroon.

“I was taken to Adventist Hospital, Koza, in Cameroon, and treated for three months before I was referred to this hospital here in Jos,” Adamu said. “The cut on my neck, doctors say, has affected some nerves and veins in my body, thereby making it difficult for me to move my limbs. Right now, I am still learning how to move my hands and legs.”

Adamu said that before the attack on his farm, Boko Harm destroyed his EYN church building in Musari, and all Christians there fled.

“As I talk to you, there are no more Christians in Musari village,” he said. “They attacked Christians and destroyed the church building where we worship. Our pastor and other Christians, about 120 of them, were forced to flee.”

Boko Haram and others killed 1,631 Christians in Nigeria for their faith in the first six months of 2014 – a figure that is 91 percent of the total Christians killed in the country in all of last year, according to advocacy group Jubilee Campaign. Last year 1,783 Nigerian Christians were killed for their faith, according to Jubilee Campaign. The increase in Christian deaths this year accompanies an increase in the total number of people killed during the period, mainly by Boko Haram – 4,099, which is 975 more than the total deaths from attacks by religious extremists for all of last year, 3,124, according to Jubilee.

While Boko Haram (translated as “Western education is a sin”) is the moniker residents of Maiduguri, Borno state gave the insurgents, the group calls itself the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati walJihad, translated as “The Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad.” The United States designated it as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in November 2013.

Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population of 158.2 million, while Muslims account for 45 percent and live mainly in the north.

Gunshot Survivor

Boko Haram violence has increased in number and force since 2009 after it developed ties with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM). A 29-year-old Christian in Kauri, Borno state who felt the force of Boko Harm weaponry in December 2012 said he would invite his assailants to dine with him.

A married father of three children ages 7, 5 and 1, Ayuba (surname withheld) told Morning Star News he has forgiven the gunmen who shot him three times.

“Despite my ordeal at the hands of these Boko Haram gunmen, I want to assure you that I hold no grudges against them,” he said. “If I see any of them today, I will still welcome them to my house and feed them. Jesus Christ, our Lord, taught us to love those who hate us.”

Ayuba and his wife were working on their farm in the village of Mainari, on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno state, on Dec. 20, 2012, when he returned to his house to rest. He was surprised to find two motorcycles parked beside his house, he said.

“I parked my motorcycle outside the house too, and then went inside, and just then I heard movement outside the house,” he said.

He went out to find two armed Boko Haram members; they asked him his name. When he told them, they asked if it was true that he was a Christian. A member of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), he responded that he was.

“From their utterances I knew that they must have gotten detailed information about me from our Muslim neighbors in Mainari village,” he said. “Having confirmed I was the person they were looking for, they told that my end had come. ‘You have refused to become a Muslim in spite of all pressure from our Muslim brothers here,’ one of them told me. ‘You have refused to renounce your faith in Jesus. So, we have no option than to kill you.’”

He then recalled that Muslims in Kauri twice had tried to convert him.

“I braced up and asked the gunmen why they want to kill me simply because I am a Christian, and the second among the two gunmen told me that, ‘You are an infidel, and we do not want to have infidels living among us here.’”

They demanded money and the keys to his motorbike. After forcefully taking the keys to his vehicle and removing 35,000 naira (US$212) from his pocket, they told him to lie down because they were going to shoot him, he said.

“Instead of obeying their instructions, I started praying,” he said. “They became angry because I was praying out loud and calling on the name of Jesus. They shoved me in an effort to force me down to the ground. Eventually they succeeded in forcing me to the ground, and then one of them ordered his colleague to shoot me.”

He heard a gunshot, and a bullet pierced his left hand, which he had used to cover his chest, he said. A second shot aimed at his stomach, which he was covering with his right hand. The bullet pierced his right hand.

“To the surprise of the gunmen, they found I was still alive and praying,” he said. “The gunman who gave the orders that I should be shot was angry that his colleague did not kill me in spite of two point-blank gunshots.”

The one who had given the orders angrily cocked his gun and shot at his forehead, he said.

“One experience I will not forget throughout my life is that the bullet from the third shot hit me on my forehead and bounced to hit me on my right shoulder, instead of penetrating through my skull,” he said. “To me, this is a miracle, as I cannot explain how three shots were fired at me at point-blank range, yet I was still alive.”

The two Boko Haram gunmen took him for dead as they rode away, he said.

“After about an hour, my wife returned to find me on the spot where I was shot,” he said. “I still could talk, but the state she saw me in was shocking to her, so she began to cry.”

He asked her to search for help, which did not arrive until five hours later. He had been shot at about 3 p.m., and a neighbor his wife found came to help him at 8 p.m., he said. He was taken first to Kauri, then to General Hospital in Konduga. Doctors treating him there advised that he be taken away lest the Boko Haram gunmen trace him and kill him at the hospital.

His wife and other relatives moved him to Adventist Hospital at Kozat, Cameroon, where he remained for three months before going to an undisclosed town.

Boko Haram has destroyed his COCIN church building in Kauri, he said, and all Christians there have fled.

“Some of our church members died in the attack by Boko Haram gunmen, while others were forced to flee to Cameroon, where they are now refugees,” he said. “I have been praying that these Boko Haram gunmen will eventually get to know Jesus, repent of their crimes against the church, and become the followers of Jesus.”

Morning Star News

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VOP Note: Remember Nigeria and the faithful in your prayers. 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.
Thank you for your support!

 

Persecution: The experience of Borno Christians

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“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your Father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” -The Bible, Esther 4:14

(VOP) The news about his death did not come to me as a surprise. He had told me in the year 2007 in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, that his life was under threat but that he cannot run away from the city because he believes God has called him to preach the Gospel to his people.

You may ask, ‘Who is this man of courage who looked death in the face and called off its bluff?’ He is no other person than The Rev. Faye Pama Musa, the Borno State Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

I was in Borno State on a research trip in that year and met Rev. Faye Pama Musa. We became friends and I had the privilege of visiting his church in Wulari area of the city and also visited his house in the GRA where I met his family. In the period I was in Maiduguri we discussed extensively about the state of the Church in Borno State.

In the course of our discussion Rev. Musa shared with me the difficulties they faced in doing Christian ministry in a hostile environment where Christians are persecuted in all spheres of human endeavor. To be a Christian in Borno State [Nigeria], he said, “Is deciding to become a second class citizen as even citizens from other Muslim countries enjoy better privileges than those of us who are Indigenous Christians from this state,” he told me.

Disturbed about this disclosure, I decided to carry out in-depth research on this issue. Facts I uncovered at the end of my study tour of the state revealed even more disturbing phenomenon. One of the issues I uncovered was the forceful conversion of many Christians in the state to Islam. Secondly, many indigenous persons of the Kanuri ethnic group who made decision to become Christians were forced to go underground because of persecution.

In fact, I visited one of the underground churches in the city of Maidiguri and met with some of these Kanuri Christians who have been forced out of Borno State because of persecution to live in other parts of Nigeria but only sneak into the city of Maiduguri time to time to fellowship together and pray for their people, the Kanuris, and then sneak out of the state again.

I left Maiduguri with a heavy heart, burdened with the plight of Christians in Borno State. Since then, I kept constantly in touch with the Rev. Faye Pama Musa, always asking after his welfare and other Christian Brethren over there. Each time I heard about the murder of any Christian in that state or attacks on Christian communities, I would always phone him to be sure he was still alive.

Then suddenly, thirty minutes after the declaration of the state of emergency by Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, The Rev. Faye Pama Musa was gunned down by Islamic Terrorists, Boko Haram members, who trailed him from his church to his house and murdered him in cold blood, and in the presence of his wife and children. His crime? His faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and Preaching the Gospel to lost souls in Borno State.

The blood shed by Musa and other Christian brethren in Borno State has raised a lot of questions as regards the responsibilities of Christian political leaders in Nigeria to their Christian Brethren. Why is it that Christian political leaders have not been able to raise their voices in condemnation of these despicable acts against the Church and Christians in northern Nigeria?

One is forced to raise this question because of the deliberate silence that has characterized our political landscape even as thousands of Christians in the northern part of the country are being killed on a daily basis by Islamic militants of the Boko Haram sect and Muslim Fulani Herdsmen.

One noticeable thing is that while the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has become the lone voice in the wilderness, crying out over the persecution of Christians in northern Nigeria, Christian political leaders seem to be more interested in struggling for political positions that would enable them acquire ill-gotten wealth for themselves to the detriment of the religious liberty of their Christian Brethren.

While the likes of senators Bukar Ibrahim and Ali Ndume, and representative Aminu Tambuwal, etc are busy promoting the cause of Boko Haram in Nigeria’s parliament, the National Assembly, our Christian political leaders in both chambers are busy doing some mathematical permutations on alignment and re-alignment of political forces in order to strategically place themselves in political positions come 2015. All in an effort to corruptly enrich themselves to the detriment of the religious freedom of their Christian brethren.

The time has therefore come, for us to call the attention of these Christian political leaders to a prophetic warning issued to Hadasah, Queen Esther, by her uncle, Mordecai, when he told her:

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your Father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” -The Bible, Esther 4:14

This prophetic message is today very relevant to our political clime, just as Haman schemed to exterminate the Jews who were in exile in Persia, so also, militant Muslims seeking to establish an Islamic State in northern Nigeria are waging a war to exterminate Christian minorities. Yet, our political leaders appear hapless as the onslaught against the church and Christians continues unabated.

Whatever it is, as Christians we must turn our focus to God at this time just like the Jews in Persia did. They followed the instruction of Esther and fasted and prayed to God pleading for deliverance. The time has come too, for us to turn our faces to God and asking for His intervention in this situation we have now found ourselves in northern Nigeria.

Some may say, a state of emergency has been declared and President Jonathan has said the war against terrorism is succeeding. But I must warn that let us not be deceived as victory over these forces of evil would not be attained through the barrel of a gun. If it were so, the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in other Middle East countries would have been won long ago. The prevailing situation in these Muslim countries is a clear indication that the only way the war can be won is through divine intervention.

Others say we must embark on arms struggle if we are to survive the current onslaught by Muslim terrorists. While [some] believe that we must return to the gods of our ancestors if we are to overcome.

Ethnic and tribals gods can only lead us to destruction as they are the agents of the devil. If we believe that we can overcome our adversities through arms struggle or by a return to the ways of ancestral worship, to those dark days of evil in the lives of our communities, then we are only creating ways for a complete annihilation of ourselves.

The Bible, which is the word of God promises us deliverance if only we repent of our transgressions and turn to God in humility.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (The Bible, 2 Chronicles 7:14).

Have we not profane the name of the Lord individually and corporately? Have we not coveted? Have we not murdered in the names of our ancestral gods? Have we not misplaced our faiths on dead gods?

Indeed, if we truly say we are a people called and set aside by God Almighty, then we have no other choice than to harken to His voice by turning away from evil deeds. We can do this through personal and corporate repentance, and shunning evil ways.

There is no doubt that when we do this, we will experience Shalom, the true peace that is only found in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The blood shed by our brothers and sisters will no doubt, cause the expansion of the frontiers of the Gospel if we submit to the will and sovereignty of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s do this now and I can assure you that deliverance for us is on its way.

By Obed Minchakpu, Writer, Author, Journalist and Media Consultant

Please continue to keep our brothers and sisters in Nigeria in your prayers.

New toll of the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram: 185 churches destroyed and 190,000 civilians flee

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(Agenzia Fides) – 185 churches in the Maiduguri Diocese were torched and 190,545 people displaced. This is the toll of the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram in the past two months in the diocese of Maiduguri, whose territory includes the States of northern Nigeria: Borno, Yobe and some areas of Adamawa. This was announced by the Director of Communications of the Diocese, Fr. Gideon Obasogie.

In the past two months, 11 cities in territory of the diocese have fallen into the hands of Boko Haram (according to the local Bishop, Mgr. Oliver Dashe Doeme, the Islamist sect controls in all 25 cities in the north of Nigeria, see Fides 19/09/2014). “It is over 30 days now that our Church communities in Gulak, Shuwa, Michika, Bazza (among others) were sacked by the callous attacks of the Boko Haram terrorists”, said the Director of Social Communications.
“Gwoza and Magadali had been under the tyrannical and despotic control of the terrorists and this is almost the sixtieth day” says Fr. Obasogie. “Our Priests are displaced, while citizens, who were supposed to celebrate their independence as a free Nation, were rather counting their losses and regrets as they had been reduced to the status of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs. Where is the freedom? ” he asked.

Fr. Obasogie describes the terrible conditions in which displaced people are forced to live, welcomed in the homes of relatives and friends (even 60-70 people at a time), or in makeshift structures in Maiduguri, Mubi, Yola, Uba, Gombe, Biu and Damaturu. The thought of the displaced people go to those who were unable to flee, the elderly or sick people but also young people. Today, October 7, a regional summit is being held in Niamey, Niger’s capital, to fight Boko Haram, which is also threatening its neighbors, as demonstrated by the death of 7 people in the north of Cameroon, killed by a rocket fired by the fundamentalists in Nigeria.

Agenzia Fides

 

Massacre in Predominantly Christian Gwoza, Nigeria Said to Leave 100 Dead

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Nigeria (Morning Star News) – After weeks of sacking villages and destroying church buildings around Nigeria’s northeastern town of Gwoza, Islamic extremist group Boko Haram on Wednesday (Aug. 6) killed an estimated 100 people in the predominantly Christian town, sources said.

The shooting, fire-bombing and slashing of men, women and children in Gwoza, Borno state, as initially the military reportedly fled before an insurgent force backed by international terrorist groups, began at about 4 a.m., producing eyewitness assertions that Boko Haram, which seeks to impose sharia (Islamic law) throughout Nigeria, had taken control of the town of more than 276,000 people. Local residents reportedly said at least 100 people had been killed.

The full magnitude of the attack and the Nigerian military response was unknown as most sources have been forced to flee to Cameroon or Adamawa state, but on the initial day of the assault Pirda Tada, a Christian resident of Saha village, told Morning Star News that Boko Haram gunmen arrived in Toyota Hilux vehicles and motorcycles and attacked houses with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and fuel-bombs.

“I thank God for sparing my life, but three of my neighbors and members of our church were killed during the attack,” Tada said. “These Christians in our village had their throats slit with knives while their hands were tied behind their backs. Some houses were bombed as the Boko Haram gunmen were chanting, ‘God is great!’ in Arabic.”

Six Christians were killed at Saha village, and the insurgents destroyed houses and shops and burned the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) building in Pegi Barawa village, Tada said. Boko Haram rebels on July 19 had attacked Saha and Pegi Barawa village, near Gwoza; six Christians were reported to have been killed in Saha village.

Francis Mbala of Gwoza confirmed that Boko Haram attacked Saha and Pegi Barawa this week.

“The COCIN church and some houses and shops were burned down,” he told Morning Star News.

Since December, Boko Haram has also attacked in the Gwoza area the villages of Mainok, Barawa, Chinne, Arbakko, Attagara, Ngoshe, Klala, Kunde, Hembe, Gathahure, Klala, Himbe, Amuda, Agapalawa, Ashigashiya, and Chikedeh, Mbala said.

John Gula, a leader in the Christian community in Gwoza, told Morning Star News by phone that 42 Christians were killed at Attagara village; 24 in Agajara; four in Angurva; 20 in Agapalwa; one in Amuda; three in Alavawa; 13 in Chinene; three in Arboko; one in Ashigashiya; and one in Ngoshe.

It is estimated that more than 300,000 Christians have been displaced from the greater area, forcing many to flee to neighboring Cameroon.

In December Christian leaders had reported plans by Boko Haram to attack Christian communities in Gwoza. COCIN leaders and the denomination’s Gwoza District Church Council (DCC), in collaboration with the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Gwoza, sent a petition to the Borno state government and security agencies reporting a threatening letter that Boko Haram had sent to Christian communities in Gwoza.

“You have been fleeing your homes, but we are still pursuing you, because the soldiers with you people cannot protect you,” the letter reads. “Your lives, farmlands and other property are also not safeguarded. Allah willing, we shall not fail to attack your communities and the listed churches in this letter.”

In December 2013, 15 Christians were killed, 274 houses were burned and 12 church buildings were destroyed by Boko Haram gunmen, the Christian leaders wrote in their letter. Yakubu Toeye, a Christian from Gwoza, told Morning Star News that the 12 church buildings destroyed in December were located in the Gwoza hills settlements of Kunde, Hembe, Gathahure, Himbe and Klala.

The Rev. Joel Y. Ndirmbita, secretary of the COCIN DCC, signed the petition calling attention to the plight of Christians in Gwoza area.

“We consider it an onerous task to bring to your notice an attempt and grand design to wipe us, Christians, from the face of the earth by some who claim to be members of the Boko Haram sect,” Ndirmbita and others wrote. “Boko Haram has perfected plans to launch an attack against us as contained in their threat letter of July 8, 2013, and addressed it to various churches in the Gwoza Local Council…They have now commenced … by attacking us and uprooting crops on our farmlands and spraying them with chemicals.”

Morning Star News

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