A Cry For Help From Our Brothers In Jos, Nigeria

January 29, 2010

The following letter was sent to Rae Burnett, Africa Director, Christian Aid Mission.

Dear Rae,

This is an urgent call to prayer and action from Christians in Jos to the international Christian community. As I write, men dressed in army uniforms, whose true identity is yet to be fully ascertained, are going from house to house pulling out residents and shooting them dead. This is happening in Anglo Jos, Eto Baba, Tinna Junction, and Nasarawa where the crisis started on Sunday with Muslim youths invading a Christian worship service.

I just got back from assessing the situation under security escort. I am greatly dismayed at what I saw. Rows of shops of Christian traders burnt down and churches burnt all over Jos. A number of churches are yet to count their deaths as sadly some are still lying out there on the streets.

It is clear that this is a systematically planned and orchestrated attack as Muslim youths are armed with sophisticated weapons and military uniforms.

Many people believe that some political power is orchestrating and financing all of this as part of a strategic plan to Islamize Africa. We clearly see it throughout the continent. Muslims are flooding in money to buy land, businesses, and government officials.

There is no denying the fact that Muslims are also affected by the violence through the retaliatory activities of impetuous young boys seeking revenge. In contrast, most of them are armed with sticks and stones and petrol. Christian and Muslim leaders made a joint press statement to calm their respective constituencies, but this has limited effect so far.

Muslims have been harassing, tormenting and killing Christians. For how long will this be allowed to continue? The Muslims manipulate the media locally and now they are doing same internationally in order to discredit the church. The evidence of premeditated attacks is indisputable.

Please help us get word out to the international community and credible news media regarding the true picture of what has happened.

Muslims have already carried false reports about the cause and nature of the conflict to the BBC and alleging hundreds of dead bodies of Muslims. With the curfew in place, it is very difficult to collate the exact number of Christian deaths and as I am sending this email, more Christians are being killed.

We have also found it difficult to make phone calls as the network is erratic. Thank you for your prayers and strategic help at this critical time. For now I and my family are safe at home under the 24hour curfew put in place by the State government. However, even in the middle of the night we are receiving SOS calls reporting outbreaks of violence.

Many thanks as always for your understanding and help.

Brother Gideon

At the request of Christian Aid Africa Director Rae Burnett, the above report was confirmed by Missionary Crusader Ministries´ leader Gabriel Barau. Gabriel is also the Chairman of NEMA, the Nigerian Evangelical Missions Association based in Jos. He adds the following:

Dear Rae,

Here is our quick update; you may pass to others.

Taken by Africa Director Rae Burnett of Gabriel Barau, leader of Missionary Crusaders Ministries, and his wife Dorcas at the celebration of 25 years of MCM pioneer missionary work.

How can I thank you enough for your prayers and those others you are mobilizing for the speedy realization of the purpose of God in our city and nation. Jos has been in turmoil for over a week, hundreds of innocent lives lost in senseless killings. The scale of chaos is incredible. But we are beginning to see some resemblance of peace, gradually.

But how will you calm the nerves of those who are deeply hurt and badly traumatized. Take the case of one of our dear friend´s family. Their house was set ablaze at about 1 a.m. by their Muslim neighbors when they were all asleep. The wife escaped in some strange circumstance that can only be explained by God. But the husband and three teenager children were burnt to death. The wife went seemingly mad and wondering why God kept her when her husband, children, their personal home and everything they have own in their 20 years of marriage are all gone overnight. This is one of the horrific and insane situations to be managed in this crisis. I could tell you some other gory stories.

Incidents regarding fake soldiers are subsiding, but most Nigerian soldiers on the streets of Jos are Muslims. This afternoon while I was going round some parts of the city, a Muslim soldier assigned to protect isolated Muslim dominated spots in Jos pointed a gun at me and ordered me to reverse my car. He could have permitted me to make a turn, but he refused. My wife and I just simply complied, smiled and drove away. We are not even sure if he's a fake or real soldier.

A leader of NEMA told me that NEMA member care work has been involved in debriefing counseling for those who lost loved ones during each crisis. Last Saturday we began to give food and other assistance to the hungry and homeless people who approached us. We are also responding to those traumatized, as well those that are physically needy of food and clothing. Thanks to some friends who gave us what we may share with others.

Thank you so much for your love and concern. Please Keep Praying. I will continue to send information as I can get it.

In Christ,

Gabriel Barau
28 January 2010

"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death". Philippians 3:10

Christian Aid is responding with emergency aid to native missionary leaders. The aid will assist with medical care for victims and help rebuild broken lives and the local Body of Christ.

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