Native Missionary Ministry in Danger Zone as
Nigeria’s Boko Haram Calls for “WAR” on Christians
March 6, 2012
By Rae Burnett, Africa Director for Christian Aid Mission
"Now anything can make us a target. We must move immediately…We had no idea of the danger that was coming. We had no clue that the need to move would be so pressing and even a matter of life or death." Native missionary ministry leader. Full quote below.
| Contribute below to enable a Nigerian missionary ministry to move out of danger.|
International news website, Bikyamasr, posted this article by Nigerian David Eto on March 4:
LAGOS: A Nigerian spokesman for the Islamic militant group Boko Haram told Bikyamasr.com on Sunday that they are planning a “war” on Christians in the next few weeks.
According to the spokesman, speaking via telephone from northern Nigeria, the group “will launch a number of attacks, coordinated and part of the plan to eradicate Christians from certain parts of the country.”
Boko Haram has taken responsibility for a number of bomb attacks on Christian churches across the country since a Christmas Day bombing left dozens of people killed…. the spokesman said “the government cannot be prepared for what is to come…we will create so much effort to end the Christian presence in our push to have a proper Islamic state that the Christians won’t be able to stay.”
Nigeria is Africa’s most populated nation and by far its most influential, politically, economically, and spiritually. Nigerian Christians have exerted a dominant and profound influence in missions throughout the continent and established the first indigenous training schools for native African missionaries. Pray with our brothers and sisters that this vicious onslaught will not push the country into national sharia law and Islamic dominance, destroying the precarious 50/50 balance between Christian and Muslim which has before been peaceful.
The militant group has called for an Islamic state in Nigeria and has claimed more than 1,000 lives since mid-2009, including more than 300 this year alone. Though the terrorists have attacked many churches, the primary targets have been schools and police stations in Muslim areas. To date, the extremists have murdered far more Muslims than Christians.
The location of an indigenous missionary ministry in Nigeria that Christian Aid has supported since 1986 is well-known to all. In spite of its location in an Islamic state, it has never been in danger of violence until the past few months when aggressive terrorist attacks have become bolder. With this new threat to focus on Christians, the need to relocate ministry headquarters has become critical.
This report comes from the ministry leader:
Missionaries are going forward with the Lord’s work in the midst of the terror of Islamic extremism. The whole nation is terrified, but we will never go underground. That would kill mission work in Nigeria, leaving the devil and his supporters to celebrate our weakness. With 90% of our work now among Muslims and making a tremendous impact, we will move forward with soul winning. But we must strategize wisely.
Just yesterday, a bomb blasted in Demsa, very close to our headquarters. We do not even operate our office the usual way any more due to current problem of Boko Haram militants. Two local people were killed in their offices a few days ago. On February 23, terrorists went into a neighborhood shop and randomly shot the owner and his customers. The murderers just walked away. No one does anything. They have nothing to fear.
|Update: This is the same missionary ministry in Christian Aid’s January 25 Africa eAlert that rescued and is providing for Umar, whose father was murdered by Boko Haram when he became a Christian. Read story here. Thanks to gifts from Christian Aid, Umar has anonymously entered a Christian boarding school where he is being counseled and mentored. He is doing very well.|
We are very careful in everything and now know there is every need to move our office right away. Because Muslims are the only property owners here, we rent from a fanatical Muslim, who for one reason or the other has yet failed to evict us. Now anything can make us a target. We must move immediately. We first thought of temporarily relocating to our school of missions which is in a much safer area, but there is no building that can accommodate us there because of the large number of students.
We are so grateful for Christian Aid’s support that enabled us to buy centrally-located land for our eventual move. This spot accommodates our needs much better as the work has grown so much. We had no idea of the danger that was coming. We had no clue that the need to move would be so pressing and even a matter of life or death. Please pray with us for the $50,000 needed to build. We do not want to see a delay in this fruitful work that has been growing so fast.
The complete Bikyamasr article can be found at bikyamasr.com.