Fear of election violence
Nigeria’s elections are due to begin on 14 February, amid fears that the violence that marred the 2011 elections will be repeated. Christians bore the brunt of those attacks, and 400 churches were burnt. In the Muslim-dominated northern states, Christians believe recent attacks against them have been designed to prevent them from voting – some have received written warnings telling them not to go to the polling stations.
A vote here in the UK costs nothing. A vote in Nigeria could cost a Christian their life.
- For security breakthroughs in the north east so that voting can take place there, despite Boko Haram’s control of much of this area
- For a successful vote among the 1.3 million people displaced by Boko Haram violence
- For protection for Christians
- For a president who will work hard to ensure peace for Nigeria’s people.
‘Too close to call’
In 2011, some Muslim youths from northern states were angry when Goodluck Jonathan, a southern Christian, was elected as president, fearing further marginalisation from his government. They killed 1,000 people, and 74,000 people were displaced.
This year, the presidential election is between President Goodluck Jonathan and former military ruler Mohammadu Buhari, a Muslim. Surveys show the election is too close to call.
It is increasingly unlikely that elections will be able to take place in areas held by Boko Haram. Those living in refugee camps in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states will be able to vote in specially created polling stations, but there is a danger that these centres will be targeted by suicide bombers. Displaced people in other states will not be able to vote.
Say ‘Yes’ to your persecuted church family in Nigeria
Open Doors has been working in Nigeria since 1997, including providing emergency relief for refugees and helping displaced families find new homes.
None of this would be possible without your support. If you feel ready, take the Step of Yes today and commit to pray, give and speak out for your persecuted church family.
With many peaceful blessings