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NIGER – Priest wounded in Catholic parish attacked, Sahel Christian communities increasingly at risk

Niger: On May 13, unidentified people attacked the parish of Dolbel, belonging to the diocese of Niamey, which is located about 200 km from Niamey, in the Songhay-Zerma area.

The parish priest, Fr. Nicaise Avlouké, was wounded in one hand and leg, and is a guest in the military camp. Missionary sources told Agenzia Fides,

“There have long been ‘rumors’ of possible attacks on the parish and priests in particular. This last fact only confirms the deterioration of the security situation in the border area with Burkina Faso.”

The defense forces appear little prepared for this new stage of Sahelian terrorism”. In Niger there is still no news of Fr. Pier Luigi Maccalli, the SMA missionary abducted in Niger on the night between 17 and 18 September 2018. 

US missionary, captive for 20 months, is alive, reports Niger’s president

For 20 months, there has been no news of Jeff Woodke (Photo: Facebook/Blaise Gaitou)

(World Watch Monitor) A US missionary kidnapped in Niger in October 2016 is alive, according to the West African nation’s president.

Jeff Woodke, who worked for Jeunesse en Mission Entraide et Developpement (JEMED), a branch of the US-based Youth With a Mission, was abducted by unknown assailants late in the evening of Friday 14 October, 2016, from the town of Abalak in northern Niger.

For 20 months, there has been no news of Woodke, but on Monday, 4 June, President Mahamadou Issoufou told TV channel France24 that both he and a German aid worker kidnapped in April this year are alive.

“We have some news; we know they’re alive,” the president said. “We continue to create the conditions for their release. Perhaps the contacts that are underway will help to achieve that goal.”

It is the first proof of life since the kidnapping of the two Western citizens in the Sahel country.

Little had been known, or at least divulged, about Woodke’s condition or location, other than that his captors were tracked to neighbouring Mali by Nigerien authorities. No group has publicly claimed responsibility.

Last July, a coalition of jihadist groups active in the Sahel region (Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen, also known as the Group to Support Islam and Muslims), affiliated to Al-Qaeda, released a video showing six foreign hostages, including three missionaries, but not Jeff Woodke.

The three missionaries in the video were: Colombian nun Gloria Argoti, kidnapped on 7 February from her convent in Karangasso, southern Mali; Australian surgeon Ken Elliott, kidnapped in January 2016 from Djibo in northern Burkina Faso, near the Mali border; and Swiss missionary Béatrice Stockly, kidnapped in Mali’s northern town of Timbuktu, also in January 2016.

All are still captive.

Jeff Woodke’s wife, Els, issued a video pleading for his safe return when there was no sign of him in that video, believing that he could also be held by those who issued it.

“I am sure that the families of the captives were very encouraged by this message and appreciated the mercy shown by Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen in sending this news and instructions about their loved ones,” said Mrs Woodke in her video.

“But my husband Jeff is not mentioned, so I did not receive the benefit of the reassurance and directions of how to proceed that the other families did. This has been very hard for me, for Jeff’s sons and his father to understand.”

The German Joerg Lange, employed by the aid group Help, was kidnapped by armed men on 11 April, in Niger’s western town of Ayorou, which shares a border with troubled northern Mali.

No group has claimed responsibility for his abduction, but a security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that his kidnappers had “already taken him to northern Mali”.

On Monday, President Issoufou said he did not know exactly where the pair were being detained, but that “it is more likely that they are in Mali”.

Ramadan Challenge: Day 6 – Niger

The door is open. Hearts are open. For now.

97% of Niger is Muslim, yet many are ready and willing to hear about Jesus! In fact, many previously unreached peoples now have their first believers in Christ! But folk Islam holds many captive to demonic oppression. And strict interpretations of Islam are on the rise.

Who knows how long the door will remain open? Now is the time for the Gospel to take root across this land!

SUMMARY

The landlocked North African nation of Niger, a country of sand dunes and desert plains, still has the fresh flavor of freedom on its lips.  Under military rule for thirty-one years, violent coups and bloody political infighting have finally unfolded into a fledgling democracy.  One of the richest sources of uranium in the world, Niger has instead focused on developing agriculture and raising livestock.  Future economic growth is hoped to be found in the mining of gold, coal, and recently discovered oil.

One of the poorest countries in the world, the agricultural economy is frequently destroyed by drought, making it insufficient to support the growing population.  Slavery is still practiced in isolated areas of the country.  Nigerian children are trafficked for labor in gold mines, sexual exploitation, and begging.  Women are abducted and sold into domestic servitude or prostitution, and young boys are kidnapped for work in stone quarries.  A land dispute between Libya remains unresolved and often triggers acts of violence.

Less than one percent of the population claims the Christian faith.  Ninety-seven percent of the nation is Muslim, with 76% of the people listed as unreached ethnic groups.  Christianity is slowly growing through humanitarian efforts such as well-digging, agricultural development, and education.  The number of Evangelicals triples every year, though that is not keeping up with population growth.  The cultural pressure to maintain the Islamic faith continues to hinder outreach efforts, though indigenous pastors, many of whom have converted to Christianity from Islam themselves, are stepping up as leaders in the fledgling church.  Niger still has the taste of political freedom on their tongue.  May spiritual freedom in Christ soon quench their eternal thirst with His bottomless well of compassion.

PRAYER POINTS

• Pray for focused efforts to evangelize those under the age of 15, half of the overall population.

• Pray for speed and accuracy for the workers translating the Scriptures for many barely reached people groups.

• Pray for a visible Christian presence in society and peace among struggling believers who feel isolated.

As we continue on the nightly prayer conference call during Ramadan, using the Prayercast Ramadan Challenge prayer points, let us unite in prayer that the church in Niger will grow. Let us pray that there will be those who will come under the shadow of Jesus, and for the Light of Christ to shine in that Nation.
Please watch the video below and see prayer conference call details below.

Our prayers do have an impact on the things of eternity and the souls of men and women to find truth in him who is the Living Word. Please join us on the prayer conference call to lift prayers up together. As ever, I remain your brother and prayer partner in our Lord Jesus. Meet you on the call!

Blaine Scogin, Prayer Director of Persecution Watch and Voice of the Persecuted

VOP Note: If you are unable to participate on the call, or cannot join us on a particular evening, you can still use the prayer points and pray in your personal prayer closet. The only thing I would urge you is, please do it.  Whether you pray privately, in a group, or on our call, please pray for a great harvest of souls during this time of Ramadan.

Nightly Call scheduled through Ramadan 

Time:
9 p.m. Eastern time
8 p.m. Central time
7 p.m. Mountain time
6 p.m. Pacific time
Call Number:  
712-775-7035
Access Code:
281207#

Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link  or App Store – iTunes

Available International IDOP Prayer Conference Call Numbers

(Note: If using one of the call numbers below, you may experience issues in your country. If you are unable to connect, try using the VoIP dialer available at this link. Click on VoIP dialer, go to this number 712-775-7035 in the drop down menu—enter access code 281207 (do not add the # symbol)—enter your name and click on the ‘Place Call’ button.)

Australia                                              +61 (0) 3 8672 0185

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Nigeria                                                  +234 (0) 1 440 5221

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South Africa                                         +27 (0) 87 825 0107

South Korea                                       +82 (0) 70-7686-0015

Spain                                                     +34 931 98 23 70

Sri Lanka                                              +94 (0) 11 5 322961

Sweden                                               +46 (0) 31 781 06 26

Switzerland                                        +41 (0) 43 550 70 55

Taiwan                                                  +886 (0) 985 646 917

Turkey                                                  +90 (0) 212 988 1713

Ukraine                                                +380 (0) 89 323 9978

United Kingdom                                 +44 (0) 330 606 0527

United States                                                (712) 775-7035

Vietnam                                                 +84 (0) 4 7108 0080

Africa: Expanding Attacks Boko Haram Terrorizes the Region

nigeria-terror

(Voice of the Persecuted) On Monday(July 27) the Boko Haram stormed into the Christian villages of Dille and Mwuthamam

More than 130 people were killed by female suicide bombers across Nigeria and Cameroon. It is believed that Islamic militants, Boko Haram carried out the attacks. The group has used women and young girls as suicide bombers in their latest series of attacks that have rocked the region. Many fear these females may have been those abducted by the militants and forced to strap on bombs in the militant group’s murderous onslaught.

On Sunday(July 26), a female suicide bomber detonated herself at the entrance of a market in Damaturu, Nigeria, killing 15 people and injuring 47, many in critical condition.  Witnesses say the 40 year old woman was well known and that she was mentally unstable.

In the fifth suicide attack to blast Cameroon in two weeks, a child bomber blew herself up on Saturday night(July 25) in a bar located in the town of Maroua, killing 20 and injuring at least 79. Only a week ago, Maroua had suffered an attack when two girls blew themselves up at a busy market—13 people were killed and at least 30 injured. The Cameroon army is part of the coalition battling the ravenous group. The town is the army’s headquarters for operations against the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. Cameroon has taken extensive security measures by banning motorbikes after dark and prohibited the full Islamic veil in Maroua.

During its six-year insurrection, Boko Haram has frequently used women and young girls as suicide bombers. Often the explosives are concealed under traditional religious garments.

On Friday (July 24) the group targeted Maikadiri village. Witnesses said at least 14 people died and 500 cows were slaughtered.

On Monday (July 27) Boko Haram militants choosing not to attract the attention of soldiers with gunfire, slit the throats of sixteen Christian fishermen on the shores of Lake Chad in the Nigerian state of Borno. This form of execution has been common in their 6 year terror campaign to install strict Islamic law in the region, particularly, Nigeria. All of the victims in this incident were Chadian citizens.

Bishop Rosario Pio Ramolo, of the Diocese of Goré, said, “Attacks have multiplied in Chad, causing the more than seventy deaths and two hundred wounded.” “The Chadian President Idriss Deby has declared open war against the Islamists and these acts represent an attempt at revenge. Before now the extremists had not acted in Chad, despite being on the border with Nigeria.”

Authorities also fear that Islamists have infiltrated among Central African refugees or among Chadians repatriated from the Central African Republic. Clothing covering all or part of the face, such as the burqa or hijab, the Islamic veil, has been prohibited.

The mayor of N’Djamena also illegallized begging for security reasons. (source)

On Wednesday (July 29)  Authorities in the border region of Diffa, in southeast Niger, banned the full Islamic veil Wednesday, following attacks in the province. They have also imposed a night-time curfew and extended a February ban on motorcycles, which are often used in raids by Boko Haram militants.

On Sunday (Aug. 2) Boko Haram fighters killed 13 people, injured 27 and set homes ablaze in an attack on Malari village in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state. Witnesses claim the militants accused them of conspiring with the military and notifying them of their camp locations. In a air/ground offense, the Nigerian military reported killing “a large number” of militants in repelling an attack on Bitta village near the Sambisa forest reserve.

During the raids, Nigeria’s military says it had rescued 178 people held by the Boko Haram in Borno state. In a statement on Sunday by Army spokesman Colonel Tukur Gusau, “101 of the those freed were children, 67 were women and 10 were men.” Last week, over 70 Boko Haram captives had also been rescued by the military.

Please remember to pray daily for those facing this horrific evil. May God fill them with supernatural peace and endurance as they press into Jesus, our eternal Savior.

Project 13:3 Nigeria, Voice of the Persecuted’s aid relief mission is working in one of the hardest hit areas in Nigeria. We’re covering Christians who have suffered great loss and incredible heartbreak. In a primitive refugee camp for the internally displaced, we help to supply the needs of over a hundred people, including widows and orphans. Help us to show the love of Christ for these suffering brethren—their emotional, physical and spiritual needs are so great.

If you would like to send an encouraging letter, please do so in the notes portion when donating. It truly uplifts them to hear from their family in Christ and know you are praying for them!

Together with your generous support, 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.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and 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!

You may also mail your gift to:

2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183

give-love-with-open-hands

 

Boko Haram intensifies terror attacks

Boko-Haram

Nigeria: On July 10, a Boko Haram militant dressed as a woman was apprehended. He later confessed to being a member of the Islamist terrorist group. And told authorities that he intended to meet 29 other members who were present in Yola.

Monday, the Borno state police commissioner confirmed attacks by Boko Haram near Monguno.

“Boko Haram terrorists had on Friday night attacked Misala and Kalwa, which are two neighboring villages. The two villages are located not more than 17km from Monguno town on the way to Marte.

Through the night, they set houses ablaze. And later 43 persons were found dead either killed by gunshots or slaughtered like animals. They continued their attacks on other villages around the area, and set the homes ablaze. These villages had already been  abandoned, so there were no fatalities. A security member said many villages in the Monguno local government areas are being attacked almost  daily.

Chad: On July 11, a suicide bomber dressed as a woman (in a full-face veil) attacked a busy market in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad killing 15 people and injuring nearly 100. Military police tried to stop him, but was heard saying, “Allahu Akbar,” God is great in Arabic, before detonating himself.

A month ago, N’Djamena was the scene of a deadly attack that killed nearly 40 people. After that attack, Chad put a ban on women wearing the burqa attempting to prevent suicide attacks. In June, 2 more suicide bombings in N’Djamena killed 11 people.

The Chadian authorities have now stepped up their security measures and warned anyone found wearing the Muslim full-face veil would be arrested. With the latest attack, Chad plans to strictly enforce the ban. Paul Manga, national police spokesman was quoted as saying, “It now must be respected more than ever by the entire population.” And “Anyone who does not obey the law will be automatically arrested and brought to justice.”

Chad has been a major participant in the 4 nation coalition offensive (including Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon) to fight against Boko Haram. The Islamic terror group has publicly threatened the Chadian President with retaliation.

A deadly attack was thwarted when explosives were found at the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in the city of Jos on Sunday, July 12. Sources say the bombs were later defused by the Explosives Ordinance Division of the Nigerian Police Force. Jos is an area which has suffered at hands the militants during it’s 6 year long brutal campaign. 

A spokesman for the state police in Plateau said, “It was averted because the bomb was detected by the church’s security personnel. There were no casualties.” 

Cameroon: The Cameroonian military reported that at least 12 civilians and a Chadian soldier were killed in two suicide attacks by suspected Boko Haram militants in the town of Fotokol of northern Cameroon, in the evening on Sunday, July 12. An officer said the attacks were targeting a special forces camp located in the town.

Niger: The militants who intended free its members from the prison in the town of Diffa, were repelled according to the country’s military. Three Boko Haram members were killed, along with one soldier in the gun battle. The prison had been attack early this year in February by the Islamic militants.

Trying to instill fear, Boko Haram recently released a video showing gruesome execution similar to the ones seen in the ISIS videos.

On Monday, Nigeria’s new President Muhammadu Buhari fired the security chiefs of the army, navy and air force  as the country endures the worst period of violence by Islamist insurgents since he came to power six weeks ago.Replacements have been chosen but have not been announced.

View the Fox News interview with Former Ambassador John Campbell and Emmanuel Ogebe, a international human rights lawyer debate the extremist group’s capabilities. 

Voice of the Persecuted

Serving those most affected by the crisis, we ask for your help. Together with your generous support, 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.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and 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!
You may also send your gift to:

2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183

give-love-with-open-hands

Muslims Burn 69 Churches; Christians Forgive

Bibles were burned during the violent riot attacks on churches in Niger. Christian homes and schools were also attacked

Bibles were burned during the violent riot attacks on churches in Niger. Christian homes and schools were also attacked

“The Lord is training us; He’s building us. There cannot be increase without hardships. If you want to go to the next level you have to go through hardship.”

Threats continue as Christians in Niger pray for revival and the rebuilding of destroyed churches.

Niger: It took only a few hours, but it was enough time for hundreds of radical Muslims in Niger, West Africa, to destroy dozens of churches and several Christian homes. Ten people lost their lives and hundreds were injured when Muslim mobs went on the deadly rampage in early January.

Now, three months later, Christians living there are moving forward, determined to still preach the Gospel despite the dangers.

CBN News has obtained exclusive, never-seen-before video of dozens of these angry Muslims attacking, then burning Pastor Musa Issa’s church.

“They took pews, Bibles, chairs and sound equipment then set them on fire,” Issa, pastor of Bethel Horizon Church in Niamey the capital city, said. “They did this while chanting, ‘Allahu Akbar!’ I felt so sad. I started to cry.”

Wrestling Against Principalities

The cell phone video also shows the crowd beating a member of Issa’s church. READ MORE

Another Young girl suicide bomber kills five in Nigeria

nigeria potiskum

Kano (Nigeria) (AFP) – A girl thought to be as young as seven-years-old on Sunday killed herself and five others in a suicide bombing in northeast Nigeria as President Goodluck Jonathan conceded his government had underrated the capacity of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram.  (Read More)

Another young girl this time as young as 7 years old.   Our hearts go out to the family of this child and the families of the victims.  It’s becoming common place for this demoniacal band to use children.  As we reported in the past, Boko Haram will kill men, and kidnap the wives and children.  Indoctrinating these precious children with a satanic ideology that teaches them to kill.  Or worse, they take an innocent child and strap a bomb to them and set them off in the market place.  In addition to the five that were killed, 19 were injured.

“Potiskum is the largest city in Yobe state with booming business in the area. It has one of the largest Cattle markets in Africa and the largest in West Africa. Most of the cattle are transported to other parts of the country”  It’s seen it’s share of sorrow and attacks from Boko Haram.

  • On 3 November 2014, at least 30 people were killed as the result of a suicide bombing at a Shia Muslim religious procession at Faydia Islamic school.
  • On 10 November 2014, over 40 students were killed by a suicide bomber during a student assembly at the Government Science Secondary School.”
  • On 11 January 2015, four people were killed and over 40 were injured at Kasuwar Jagwal GSM market after an attack by two female suicide bombers, one of whom appeared to be about 15 years old.
  • A car bombing on the same day killed 2 and wounded 1 at the Divisional Police Station

Boko Haram has launched a fierce attack on Maiduguri recently and as we reported cut all roads off but one.  It has put the approx. 200,000 Christians there on edge and in danger of attack.

good luck johnathon

Goodluck Jonathon said today that his government underestimated the threat of Boko Haram.  Cameroon, Chad and Niger have sent their militaries to Nigeria to combat Boko Haram.  France is visiting Nigeria and urging Nigeria to commit to fully combating the savage group.  “It is necessary that there be full commitment from Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram,” he told reporters during a press conference in Niger’s capital, Niamey.  France is offering intelligence sharing and other assistance to the 3 armies.

The presidential election is still 4 weeks away, and what was said a month ago to be a neck and neck race is turning it seems for Buhari, an ex-military dictator.

It seems as if the media is uplifting him.  As we have said before he has a very checkered past.  He led Nigeria after a coup, until he himself was ousted.  According to a report from NBC Human-rights groups have accused Buhari’s regime of crushing political dissent and installing harsh military values into civilian life.”A lot of journalists and civil society campaigners were arrested and thrown in jail without a trial,” Nigerian author and historian Max Siollun told NBC News. “This was either because they were critical of the government of accused of fomenting dissent among opposition groups.” (More

He has promised to crush Boko Haram, something that until now has not been done.  Millions are throwing their vote to him because of this promise.  Nigerians are weary, the slaughter and sorrow they have seen is immeasurable and would break a seasoned war veteran. They have endured so much suffering.  Christians especially.  Two Million are displaced and hundreds of thousands have been killed.

  • Pray for Nigeria, pray for the election to be peaceful.
  • Pray for knowledge wisdom and guidance to the people as they elect their leader.
  • Pray for protection and for God to intervene.
  • Pray for Comfort for the suffering.
  • Pray for all the children held captive by Boko Haram to be released
  • Pray for the widows and their children
  • Pray for the Clergy there for strength and courage in their ministry to the suffering

By C. Refsland/L. Kanalos VOP Advocates

Related:

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST! Nigerian pastor describes the persecutions they are facing and calls for the Body of Christ in unity – PRAY FOR US! (VOP)

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.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

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!

Boko Haram Violence: Can Nigeria and regional forces defeat the jihadist group?

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