Nigeria

“Mummy, why isn’t the world standing up for us too?”

Amongst the many cartoons that have been doing the rounds in the last week, there’s one that shows victims of the Nigeria massacre forlornly looking down on the Paris protests. A child asks, “Mummy, why isn’t the world standing up for us too?”

Just before the Kouachi brothers unleashed their shooting spree on an office in Paris, on 7 January, Boko Haram attacked the Nigerian town of Baga, terrorising and killing at least 150 people.

Some witnesses say there may have been as many as 2,000 victims, many of whom drowned while fleeing to Chad. Unlike events in France, the attack on Baga had no live broadcast.

There were no reporters present, nobody tweeted for help or texted the police. Gruesome pictures were posted later but were largely ignored, especially in Nigeria.

Christians angry

Because of the understandable difficulty of getting information after incidents like these (see BBC report), we don’t yet know how this has impacted Christians. What we do know is that Christians in Nigeria are angry.

In November, hundreds of Christians, displaced by the Islamist insurgency in Nigeria’s north, staged protests to express their outrage over the government’s failure to protect them. Daniel Kadzai, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria for the North Central Zone, declared:

”The Federal Government has toyed with the lives and limbs of the Christians in northern Nigeria for political gains. There is no explanation the government can give as to why the Federal troops will run away from the towns prior to the attack on such towns by Boko Haram.”

The publication of Open Doors’ new World Watch List last week shows that Nigeria, for the first time, has entered the top 10. Last year, 2,484 Christians were killed there for faith-related reasons and 108 churches were attacked. The Church of the Brethren in Nigeria has been the worst affected by the insurgency. In the last five years, over 8,000 of their members have been killed. How would we respond if that were happening in our country?

Let’s stand up for our brothers and sisters in prayer and action. There’s still time to invite your MP to the launch of the Open Doors report on global persecution next Tuesday.

Please Pray:

  • That Christians in Nigeria will lead the way in responding to violence with grace and truth
  • For the people of Nigeria to choose justice and peace as elections take place next month
  • For world leaders, that as well as responding to terror attacks in Paris and Belgium, they will take seriously the extreme persecution and violence faced by Christian communities around the world.

With many thanks for your prayers,

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

PS For further information please go to:-

http://www.opendoorsuk.org/

 

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The World Methodist Council Condems Attack On Charlie Hebdo

The World Methodist Council strongly condemns the attack on the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Wednesday.

In a statement General Secretary Ivan Abrahams said:

“Two days after the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo and the world remains in shock of the senseless and wanton violence that occurred.

This violence serves as an affront to freedom, human rights and the security of all people . The World Methodist Council is strongly opposed any form of violence and the use religion to justify it. During this time of soul-searching and grief, I ask that we pray for those injured as well as for the families of those senselessly gunned down.

Furthermore, I ask that we make a fresh commitment to work for the realization of just peace in 2015. ”

Let’s give Peace a chance!

With many PEACEFUL blessings

Geoffrey

The Courage of Louise Braille

The young teacher sighed. It was hard to discover a system that would enable blind people to ‘read’.

Louis Braille knew only too well the frustration of trying to learn anything when books and documents were unseen. As a small boy, he had been blinded while playing with a tool in his father’s workshop.

His parents and friends had been determined to educate him, and that was how he came to be living and teaching in the Blind Academy in Paris. Here he was determined to use his training to help other blind people, and that was why the discovery of some method of  ‘reading’ was so very important.

Nowadays we know he succeeded in inventing an extremely successful method, but it was against a background of enormous difficulties and even spiteful opposition from some people.

Yet Braille never lost courage. When he reached one goal, he moved to another. As a gifted musician, he knew the joy music brings, and was determined to provide blind musicians with musical scores they could ‘read’ and use..

He used his talents to make the world a better place for people with the same handicap as he had himself.

Marvelling at the wonderful things blind people can do nowadays, we know he succeeded in helping future generations beyond his wildest hopes.

What a fantastic inspiration he is to us all!

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey