Rioters vow to burn last church
Rioters have vowed to destroy the last church building in Zinder, Niger’s second largest city. “We hear the protesters are full of anger because they have burned eight churches in Zinder, but not this one,” says Pastor Sanoussi, who leads the remaining church.
The other churches were destroyed last month in the violent backlash to the Charlie Hebdo cartoon; at least three Christians were killed, two women were raped, 68 churches and Christian institutions destroyed and 43 homes burnt down in the Niger violence.
- Thank God for pastors like Sanoussi who are caring for their flocks during these difficult times. Ask God to give them strength and comfort as they comfort others.
- For healing for those who are bereaved or recovering from physical attacks
- For protection for God’s people in Niger
- For God to change the hearts of those who are planning further attacks.
Believers stand strong
“Until now, the atmosphere in Niger between people of different tribes and faiths has been cordial, so the Christians are shocked by the events,” an Open Doors worker says. Niger is close to the extreme north of Nigeria, where the militant Islamist group Boko Haram are active, often spilling over the border into Niger.
Open Doors has been working to prepare believers for persecution through our Standing Strong Through The Storm course. One worker says: “It has prepared many of the believers to stand strong and be vigorous about their faith even in the midst of persecution.”
Another said: “We were comforted with the Word of God that shows we will be persecuted but that we should bless the Muslims. The Lord loves them and we also have to love them.”
Say ‘Yes’ to your persecuted church family in Niger
Open Doors has been able to provide emergency relief, support to help families and churches rebuild, training and micro-loans for Christians whose shops were destroyed, and trauma counselling for rape victims. We were working in Niger before these attacks happened, our workers were on the ground as the attacks broke out, and we intend to be there for as long as our help is needed.
None of this would be possible without your support. If you haven’t already, please consider committing to support your persecuted church family by taking the Step of Yes.
With many thanks for your prayers.
From the Open Doors Prayer Team
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With many peaceful blessings