Open Doors: Nigeria

Muslim Extremists Burn Church Building in Nigeria

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”

– Psalm 9:9 [NIV]

Nigeria

On Sunday 31 August, Muslim extremists set fire to a Christ Apostolic Church building in the Baboko area of central Nigeria’s Kwara state.

The Rev. Samuel Ogowole said that local Muslims had complained that the church building was located near a mosque.

The church building was 500 metres from the Baboko mosque, but to appease the Muslim community the Kwara state government had offered church leaders 3 million naira (£14,000) and ordered the congregation to relocate. Church leaders rejected the order, saying they had spent nearly seven times that much to construct the church building.

Rev. Ogowole said that Muslims initially applied pressure on town planning authorities in 2005. “This ultimately resulted in a relocation notice asking us to relocate the church out of the area in seven days,” he said. “However, we objected to the relocation order. Our position was that relocating to another place would mean creating hardship for our members here, who would have to travel many kilometres in order to worship.”

Rev. Cornelius Fawenu, secretary of the Kwara state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), told reporters he hopes the state government will intervene to prosecute the arsonists.

Source: Compass Direct

Prayer points:

  • Please pray for peace to prevail in Kwara state. Ask God to strengthen and protect his people there.
  • Pray that the church members would respond with love and forgiveness, not retaliation.
  • Pray that the perpetrators of this crime will be brought to justice and that the church will be adequately compensated.

Update:

Yesterday Open Doors was told that the health of Shi Weihan, the Christian bookstore owner and house church leader imprisoned in Beijing for the past few months, continues to deteriorate. Apparently he is now hardly recognisable to his closest friends. Please pray for him and his family. You can speak up on his behalf by going to www.opendoorsuk.org/advocacy

Thank you for praying with us.

John
Communications Team

Please feel free to forward this email to members of your church, friends and family,
because it is your prayer cover which supports and strengthens our work!

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