During the 40 days of Lent I’m committed to praying each day for Christians in the 40 countries where the cost of being a follower of Christ is highest. I invite you to do the same. The information on the prayer needs of each country comes from a combination of Open Doors, Barnabas Fund and Operation World.
Today we are Praying for Nigeria
Nigeria is divided culturally, geographically and politically between the Muslim north and Christian south.
The forceful implementation of Sharia law in twelve northern states remains a huge challenge for the church. In 2010 there were continued attacks on Christian communities. Extremist Islamic groups, using violence as a means to achieving Muslim dominance, have increased their activities. In January, over 300 people were killed in religious violence in Jos after Muslim extremists attacked church buildings. However, more churches are reaching Muslims with the gospel and the number deciding to follow Christ is increasing.
Answer to Prayer
The successful transition from one civilian government to another is a first for Nigeria. Attempts to strengthen the national banks and economy and to combat corruption have met with some success. The promise of further development assistance for the aggrieved oil-rich states has also helped establish a measure of peace. Praise God that despite many threats, Nigeria’s national stability seems to be consolidating.
Challenge for Prayer
Nigeria’s unity has survived, almost miraculously, despite countless threats. The cumulative effects of ancient tribal rivalries, Muslim conquests, British colonial policy in which the north and south were handled differently, the bitter Biafra war of 1967-70 and heightened religious tensions have left deep scars. Pray for healing and reconciliation; pray also for leadership that will serve to reconcile and unite rather than to embitter and divide.
- That the deadly violence that has blighted the life of Christian communities in the North would not be repeated in 2011.
- Pray that Christians would not be made subject to sharia
- Pray that the Lord will equip his church to withstand the pressure it faces from Islam