Bloodshed In Nigeria!

Survivors need our help

January 26, 2010

Gabriel Barau of Missionary Crusaders Ministry

The homeless and injured need our prayers and compassionate aid as another wave of Muslim/Christian violence sweeps the city of Jos in central Nigeria. Muslims burned churches with worshippers inside. Gun battles kill hundreds. Native missionaries share God´s love and the gospel in a time of terror and crisis.

Christian Aid is collecting emergency relief for the survivors of a week of bloody massacres and violence in Nigeria.

Jos was once the safest city in all of Nigeria. The name came from Jesus Our Savior, and it was 100% Christian from its beginning. It is the place where, even in the safest of times, almost every foreign missionary who is now in the country stays in big houses surrounded by high walls with watchmen 24/7.

News reports say the violence began when a church was attacked and burned down on Sunday, January 17.

Two reports follow from missionaries known personally to Christian Aid Africa Director Rae Burnett. They tell of the violence and bloodshed from their personal point of view and experience.

The first is a from Missionary Crusaders´ Ministry leader Gabriel Barau. Christian Aid has supported MCM in its pioneer work to unreached tribal areas since 1986. Gabriel is also the chairman of NEMA, the Nigerian Evangelical Missions Association, based in Jos.

The Jos mayhem was very serious. More than 200,000 people are now homeless, and more than 500 people died from the conflict. Muslim youth started by killing people in a church service on Sunday. Then the most terrible thing happened. Those who are Christians in name only (not evangelical Christians) took up arms, and the war started. They had warned the Muslims that this would happen if they attacked again.

Evangelical believers tried to avert the bloodshed, but others had had enough of Muslim violence. Police are intimidated and afraid to take protective action. Though it has now stopped, there is 17 hours curfew and more people are dying of hunger and secret killings.

A native missionary points to the ruins of a destroyed church building. Emergency offerings to Christian Aid will help care for many wounded and homeless believers. (CAM File Photo)

Please, can you send help for the needy--particularly those believers who are now homeless. The situation is very serious though killing has mostly stopped. Churches and houses burnt to ashes with people inside them. I will be going to Jos to assess the situation when the curfew is lifted.

It is clear that Muslims are determined to take over Jos. Unless we work hard, the devil will completely destabilize the area and install Islam there. This killing and counter killing is not the answer, but non-Muslims are beginning to understand that there is nothing in the future but further attacks. This killing is Satan´s strategy to wipe out Christianity. We need God´s intervention.

I will keep you posted as information unveils as report is very scanty following the 24 hours curfew.

God bless, Gabriel.

Another missionary friend writes this eye-witness account:

Thanks for your prayers. Our location in Jos has been badly affected by the religious riot. So many houses burnt. Many people have been wounded, and hundreds have been killed.

It all started on Sunday morning as Muslim youths entered churches killing and maiming Christians due to a minor scuffle between a Christian and Muslim over land. My wife and children were able to take refuge at the local police barrack. Yesterday, the Lord graciously provided army escort that drove my wife and children them to a more secured place.

Please keep praying for me and other Christian men keeping vigil over our neighborhoods. We know that except the Lord watches over the city, they labor in vain that keep watch over it. Our trust is not in arm of flesh but in the name of the Lord.

Pray that the Lord will comfort the family of hundreds of Muslims and Christians that lost their lives in the crisis.

Please pray that the Lord will provide help my family needs to relocate. So many others need help, too. Even for food, medical treatment and temporary shelter.

Please pray for our daughter, Jesufunmi, who is in the Baptist High School. We cannot reach her, even on phone.

Pray for many that have been traumatized because of so many ugly incidents during these crises. Even this morning, gunshots are still being fired and houses bunt. Pray that the Lord will quell this religious riot. Pray that the Lord will use this event to bring many to Christ's saving knowledge.

In Jesus´ Name, Segun

Christian Aid is responding with emergency aid to native missionary leaders. The aid will assist with medical care for victims and assistance to widows and orphans as well as rebuilding churches which were destroyed in the violence.

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