At least 32 Baptist churches and just fewer than 2,000 individual Baptists have been affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in Nassarawa State and parts of Benue State in Nigeria.
These are just the latest in a series of attacks. Previous attacks have occurred in Adamawa State, which includes the predominantly Christian city of Mubi and that of other states such as Borno, Yobe, Taraba and Bauchi.
The comprehensive report, submitted by Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, president of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, indicated that most of the damage was caused by vandalism and the burning of churches, residences of pastors and the homes of Baptist members.
In other instances, a number of Baptist members were killed, women were raped and farms destroyed.
Cryptic descriptions include: “Farm products destroyed, rape and scattering of members”; “Pastorium burned and church vandalized, members houses burned”; “Pastorium, church auditorium and member houses all set ablaze”; “Church invaded by insurgents, pastorium and members houses burned.”
Ayokunle asserted that the insurgency in northern Nigeria “comes most of the time through Fulani herdsmen who go about with AK-47 rifles and other sophisticated weapons to kill farmers in their villages when they are fast asleep in the night.”
He alleged that many of the insurgents are from outside of Nigeria, which makes the support of Cameroon, Chad and Niger important as Boko Haram terrorists would not have havens to hide.
The Nigerian Baptist leader told the Baptist World Alliance that the Nigerian government, with assistance from Cameroon, Chad and Niger, has had success in repelling Boko Haram in recent days.
Ayokunle expressed gratitude for prayers offered on behalf of his country.
“I must also acknowledge the effects of prayers of many saints who are joining us in prayer toward overcoming this bloodshed which the Islamic Fundamentalists embarked upon in our country. The insurgents all over the world will not prevail in the name of Jesus.”
Assistance to those who have been displaced may be made online at www.bwanet.org or sent to:
Baptist World Aid
c/o Baptist World Alliance
405 North Washington Street
Falls Church, VA 22046
Baptist World Alliance®
© March 19, 2015