A horrific spate of attacks on Christian communities by Muslims of the Fulani tribe in Plateau state, Nigeria, killed at least 48 Christians within 9 days.
“These attacks are being carried out daily. Every blessed day we witness the invasion, killing of our people, and the destruction of their houses.”
On October 17th, while en route to a funeral, a 26-year-old priest with the African Church, Rev. David Ayeola was kidnapped at gunpoint by Muslim Fulanis. Often referred to as “Fulani herdsman” in the media, Fulanis are a large, regional ethnic group devoted to Islam. Some are nomadic, raising livestock, which fuels the narrative that attacks against Christians by Fulani herdsman are motivated by land use preferences rather than Islam’s hate of followers of Christ. However, the Islamic terror group, Boko Haram, uses the promise of gaining land from the Christians to incentivize the Muslim Fulani to terrorize Christian farmers.
Traveling with Rev. Ayeola, Rev. Samuel Ojo, who escaped the attack, recounted the events to Morning Star News. When the armed Muslim Fulanis emerged from the bush, the entire group attempted to drive into the woods to escape. They then fled on foot in different directions. Rev. Ojo recalls crawling on his stomach through the woods for several hours before finding safety. Rev. David Ayeola did not escape. He was taken captive and a ransom was demanded to gain his release.
On October 21st, based on a tip from villagers, Nigerian police tracked down the Muslim Fulanis where they held David. Before evading the police and escaping to the woods, the Fulanis shot and killed David. His church remembers him as “an excellent and vibrant preacher of the Gospel.”
Smyrna’s Nigerian ministry partner has many churches in the area that is terrorized by Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen. Please pray that God would provide opportunities to minister to ethnic Fulanis held in spiritual bondage by Islam.
“But You, Oh Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” — Psalm 3:3
12/1 — Pray for the grieving family and friends of those who have been martyred for their faith in Christ in Nigeria. Ask the God of all comfort to ease their pain.
12/2 — Pray that our brothers and sisters in Nigeria will allow the light of Christ to shine powerfully and simply through them in their joys and trials.
12/3 — Pray earnestly that persecuted Nigerian Christians will daily experience the riches of Christ’s love in the midst of their suffering and sorrow.
12/4 — Pray for endurance for our dear brother in Christ and Smyrna partner, Pastor S, as he shepherds more than 30 congregations and cares for the children of martyred Christians with his wife in their home.
12/5 —Pray for Nigerian Christians to walk daily in the Spirit.
12/6 — Pray for the protection of His saints in Nigeria. Ask God to surround them with His mighty angels.
12/7 — Pray that Nigerian Christians will continue to wield boldly the sword of the Spirit, the inerrant Word of God. Pray for them to abide continually in His presence.
12/8 —Praise God that the testimony of suffering Christians in Nigeria today is truly expanding the Kingdom of God! Pray for the growth of His Church.