Nigeria Christians Pray for Strength in Persecution

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Last year alone, more than 2,000 Christians in Nigeria were killed in clashes with Muslim extremists.

"They don't ask for us to pray that persecution would stop. They pray instead, that they would be strong in the midst of persecution," Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, explained. "And to empower them to be bold witnesses despite the obvious persecution in many places."

Recently, more than 100 Nigerians were killed during a series of attacks by the militant Islamic group Boko Haram in Borno and Yobe states.

Several churches were destroyed in the city of Damaturu and others were bombed over the summer in Maiduguri.

CBN News spoke with Nina Shea, a member of the U.S. Commission for International Freedom and co-author of the book, 'Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes are Choking Freedom Worldwide.'

Click play for her comments on the persecution in Nigeria and around the world, and what's being done to stop it.

"Boko Haram is another one of these extremist offshoots that has advocated the complete Sharia law rule in Nigeria," Moeller explained

"But the aggressiveness of Boko Haram in that country has resulted in Christian villages being raised," he added. "Over a hundred churches alone last year were burnt to the ground."

In recent years, many attacks have occurred in the predominately Christian Plateau state.

About 53 percent of the Nigerian people there are Christian, while 41 percent are Muslim. Most of the Muslims live in the north where Sharia Islamic law is now in place in 12 states.

Nigeria's Christian President Goodluck Jonathan has pledged to combat terrorism and bring Boko Haram under control.

Moeller said Nigeria's Christians, and other suffering believers around the world, need prayer beyond the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church set for Nov. 13.

"When we unite with them in prayer, we really affirm the prayer of Jesus in the upper room with his disciples where he prayed that we would be one body," Moeller said.

"When we pray for the persecuted we affirm that," he continued. "And we are able to then demonstrate that we do care for our suffering brothers and sisters around the world."

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Gary Lane

Gary Lane

CBN News Sr. International Correspondent

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