Islamic terror groups ISWAP (Islamic State West Africa Province) and Boko Haram in Nigeria may have split between two leaders and claim different names, but their reprehensible tactics and overarching strategies remain frighteningly the same.
ISIS named Musab al-Barnawi as “emir” of their West African branch of Islamic terrorism, also known as ISWAP, last August. In May of this year, al-Barnawi was the one who decided to exchange the Chibok schoolgirls for Islamic militant commanders and (reportedly) millions of dollars. He publicly vows extreme allegiance to the annihilation of all Christians in Nigeria: “booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach, and killing all those we find from the citizens of the cross.”
ISWAP is not averse to drugging young girls and using them as suicide bombers, AP reports. At the beginning of July a teenage female suicide bomber detonated herself at a security checkpoint, killing three. Then, as mourners gathered, four more Islamic militant suicide bombers (including one female) attacked, killing at least 17 in Maiduguri.
Michael Brown posting on Townhall.com tells of Nigerian army reports of at least 145 young girls detonating or attempting to detonate suicide vests in the first seven months of 2017. One army general tells of numbers of Nigerian parents “donating” their children to be suicide bombers.
After escaping captivity by Boko Haram one woman recounted seeing firsthand the collusion of the government with the terrorist organization: “At night . . . a military plane would sometimes appear over Boko Haram’s camp and drop off supplies. ‘Look what powerful friends we have,’ her husband would boast as he pointed to the lights in the sky above.”
If the Nigerian government has indeed provided ISWAP with funds, the Church in Nigeria needs our fervent prayers now more than ever. This is the atmosphere and environment in which our ministry partner is now sowing seeds for the Gospel of Christ through church planting, discipleship and care for the families of martyrs. 19 out of the 32 churches where they minister are located where the most horrific acts of Christian persecution is taking place in Nigeria.
“In Him was life and that life was the light of all mankind.” John 1:4
8/9 — Pray for God’s Hand to move in the hearts of men in authority to protect the Church. Pray for the salvation of President Buhari who has been out of the country for several months this year with a reported diagnosis of cancer. Pray too for conviction, repentance and salvation through Christ of members of Islamic terror groups Boko Haram and ISWAP in Nigeria.
8/10 —Ask God to remind the family and friends of Nigerian martyrs of His constant care, including the widows and children of the martyred evangelists of our partner ministry there.
8/11 — Pray for soul-filling rest for Nigerian believers through daily observation of God’s loving command over the entire universe- all of it proclaiming His glory!
8/12 — Pray that Nigerian Christians will receive and display God’s power as emptied “jars of clay” made ready for His glory to shine through them. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
8/13 — Pray that Christians in Nigeria will experience the prevailing, sufficient peace of Christ in every frightening situation and not be moved by the temporal threats of men.
8/14 — Pray that Christians in Nigeria will be richly encouraged at the hope of His promise to deliver them from the hand of the wicked and to come back and restore justice.
8/15 — Offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the Church in Nigeria and the steadfast faith of our brothers and sisters including our ministry partners there even when faced with death.