Sunday, 15 January 2012

Pray for the persecuted Nigerian Church!

Sphere: Related Content My plea with us this first month of the year is that we remember the persecuted brethren in Northern Nigeria in our Church, group, family and personal prayers.

In the Nigerian Church, there is an evolving culture of using January for Fasting and Prayer in preparation for the year. There is nothing wrong with having Fasting and Prayer but what we do within period determines whether we are eternally minded or not. What we do within the programme determines whether we are concerned with what burdens the heart of God or not.


Mark Ojunta
Photo: Compass Direct News


On the 28th of August, 2011, our brother Mark Ojunta was murdered while serving among the Kotoko people group in North Eastern Nigeria.

In Christian Post, it was reported that “ 36-year-old evangelist Mark Ojunta, from southern Nigeria, was ministering amid the Kotoko people of Nigeria's northeastern state with Calvary Ministries (CAPRO) when he was shot in Maiduguri. Boko Haram reportedly killed at least 23 Christians during August alone; beginning on Aug. 11 through Aug. 15 where attacks in Rasta Foron village resulted in six dead, and on Aug. 15, in Heipang village, where nine members of one Christian family were killed.

These deaths were followed by the murder of six Christians on Aug. 21 in Kwi, lotion, and Jwol villages, and, on Aug. 14, in the community of Chwelnyap, where two more were killed at the hands of militants”.

In January 2012, they carried out series of attacks on Christians and their places of worship. One was on Deeper Life Bible Church in Gombe. According to Sahara Reporters, "The attackers started shooting sporadically. They shot through the window of the church, and many people were killed including my wife," Mr Jauro told Reuters news agency.

From Reuters, On the 6th of January, “Gunmen opened fire in a hall in Mubi on Friday where a group of Christians had gathered to mourn the deaths of those killed in an attack the previous day.
"Unknown gunmen in Mubi attacked and killed 3 people on Thursday night and on Friday as people gathered to mourn the deaths, the gunmen believed to be the same attackers killed 18 people, totalling 21," a Red Cross official told Reuters.

A lot of indigenous Churches have been burnt down, pastors killed and members scattered. Brethren are living in fear. Those who are non indigenes may run back South to their villages but what of the brethren who are Northern Nigerian indigenes?

Now, is it time for Churches to gather in their Fasting and Prayer programmes concentrating on claiming one earthly possession or another? Is it time to focus on making frivolous promises to members just because you want to raise their hope? Is it a time to lead the people into ‘covenants’ that we cannot prove from the Scriptures which we have discussed here? Or is it not time to lead the Church in repentance and cry to Him for the National Church? These are perilous times.

The other day, I saw a reverend gentleman speaking passionately in the ranks of the protesters against the removal of petrol subsidy over the past few days. My heart was stirred up. I thank God for him. However, God is looking for men and women who will equally be on fire for the matters of the voiceless believers who are suffering and living in fear.

Brethren, please whatever you do this month of January, remember the persecuted Church. Pray that God will encourage these believers and uphold them. Pray that God will give the Nigerian Church the Christian heart to forgive their persecutors and raise several ‘Sauls of Tarsus’. Pray that God will deliver the Nigerian Church from materialism and human worship. Pray that people and Churches will be touched to contribute to the welfare of the persecuted brethren. The work is indeed great and the harvest ripe but the labourers are few. Please be among the few.

God bless!
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