PRAYER POINTS

  • Pray for God to disrupt the plans of terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda, the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Nigerian Taliban, as they try to operate and recruit in Nigeria.
     
  • Pray for the Nigerian government to continue to not support international terrorism or terrorists.
     
  • Thank God that more persecution has meant more prayer. Nigerian Christians are passionate about praying―some of the biggest prayer meetings in history have been in Nigeria. As many as 3 million people have come together to pray in the city of Lagos;  that many people would fill 50 football stadiums.
     
  • Pray for peace, reconciliation and healing between people from the north and south of Nigeria. Pray that the introduction of the Islamic Shari’a law would not present a threat to the future unity of the nation.
     
  • The Church in Nigeria has grown quickly and rapidly. Pray that this widespread evangelism would be followed by Bible-based discipleship and teaching to help people follow Jesus in their lives.
     
  • The age-gap between older and younger Christian leaders is large, and many show unwillingness to train-up and disciple young people into leadership. Pray that God would raise up leaders who have a humble spirit and a desire to mentor others.
     
  • Persecution in Nigeria’s northern states has led to the death of thousands of Christians and the destruction of church buildings. Pray that God would comfort all who have lost their families and suffered. Pray also that the spirit of forgiveness would be stronger than any feelings of revenge.

 

Find ministries and organizations working in Nigeria at Joshua Project | Nigeria.

 

 







FACTS
Population: 165,599,000
Total People Groups: 524
Unreached People Groups: 112
Region: Central/West Africa
Official National Language: English
Secondary National Language: 
Religions: Christianity 50.1%, Islam 43.6%, Ethnic Religions 5.9%, Non-Religious 0.3%
Persecution Ranking: 32
Percentage of People in Poverty: 70%

LOCATION
Nigeria, officially named the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa and the most populous country in Africa. Nigeria shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast lies on the Gulf of Guinea, part of the Atlantic Ocean, in the south. Since 1991, its capital has been the centrally located city of Abuja; previously, the Nigerian government was headquartered in the coastal city, Lagos.

RELIGION
Christians comprise 52.6% of Ethiopia’s population, while Muslims make up 41%. There is a wide cultural difference between the Muslim north and largely Christian south. These differences have created tensions, which have escalated into violence and civil war.

CHALLENGES FOR CHRISTIANS
Nigeria is ranked No. 32 among nations that are the worst persecutors of Christians based on Open Doors 2008 World Watch List. In many of the northern Muslim states, a strict Islamic Shari’a law was imposed in 2000 and Christians there face intense persecution.

Around 1,000 people were displaced, several critically wounded, and every church reportedly destroyed in Shira Yana, Bauchi State, Nigeria on February 2, 2008, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). This is the latest in a series of recent incidents of religious violence in northern and central Shari’ah states.

The violence erupted after a young woman was accused of blaspheming against the prophet Mohammed. According to local sources, the young woman had spurned the advances of a young Muslim man on the previous day. In a last effort the man appealed to her to speak to him “in the name of the Messenger,” to which she responded that she knew no messenger.

Elsewhere, a Baptist church and a Deeper Life church were set ablaze in the Angwan Pama area of Shendam in predominantly Christian Plateau State on January 31, 2008.  A car owned by a local Christian that was parked close to the churches was also destroyed in the blaze. On February 1, 2008, six Christian-owned houses were razed to the ground in Mavo, in the Wase Local Government Area of southern Plateau State.

CSW Advocacy Director Tina Lambert said: “This recent wave of violence in central and northern Nigeria is disturbing, and we can only hope it does not indicate an upsurge in religious violence during 2008.”


Sources: 24-7 Prayer, Operation World, Wikipedia, Country Reports on Terrorism 2007, International Religious Freedom Report 2007, Open Doors