Christian Persecution: The Martyrdom of Nigeria

Christian Persecution: The Martyrdom of Nigeria August 24, 2012

…. Would to God that ”christians” from the west come to places like Nigeria, especially in the North to places like – Kano, Kaduna, Jos, Madiguri, where Christians are slaughtered , burnt alive, beheaded, killed – their only sin is that they are professing Christians , as the world would term ‘fundementalists- Bible believing Christians. Yet none of them will ever want to change their lot of what the west has in store…..

Remember, as we here in Nigeria live, each day at a time, knowing that any day can be our last…There is No fear with us, as we know we can only be killed/ dead ONCE!! And it makes ALL the difference to live for our Lord Jesus Christ, and be counted as worthy to suffer for HIS name , rather than someday die and find we have lived only for ourselves, and were ashamed to stand up as MEN for the Lord…..

Vijay Oomen, Nigeria. 

He didn’t want to go back.

That’s how I met him and his wife. He is an Anglican Bishop in the city of Kano in Northern Nigeria. He had managed to get out with his family and find temporary safety in this country. His Visa had expired.

And he didn’t want to go back. 

He told me about the anti-Christian riots in Kano. He described his parishioner who was grabbed by the mob. His voice rose as he told me how they bent the man over a saw horse. The last sentence came out strained, as if the memory was a hand squeezing his chest. “Beheaded,” he said. “They bent him over a saw horse and beheaded him.”  

He spoke of the five churches in his diocese, burned to the ground.

He talked about his daughter who had been taken by the mob. Of the anxious hours not knowing if she would survive. 

His wife, the calm one, told me, “If the Bishop doesn’t stand, the people will all run away.”

It was so matter of fact, the way she said it. But it gave me a glimpse of a meaning of the word bishop that goes beyond title and privilege and into responsibility for souls that has no limit. If the bishop doesn’t stand, the people will all run away. 

He wanted, desperately to stay in America. Nigeria, the land of his birth, had become the place above all others that he wished to avoid. I did my best to keep him here, but nothing worked. He went back. To Nigeria. To Kano. To be the bishop who does not run away.

That was 1998. 

Today, things are even worse. Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, head of Nigeria’s Conference of Bishops, says that more than 800 people have been murdered in his Archdiocese of Jog. Churches have been burned to the ground with worshippers inside them. Sunday after Sunday, Christians at worship are attacked by armed men who leave scores of dead behind them.

A group of murderers who claim that they are killing for Islam named the Boko Haram have declared “war” on the unarmed Christian civilians of Nigeria. Every day brings news of fresh atrocities, especially in the Northern city of Kano. 

“There needs to be a response from the international community,” Archbishop Kaigama told an international conference on August 22. “Pressure your governments, do not abandon us.” 

His speech, titled The Martyrdom of Nigeria, We Need a Miracle from God was to the lay ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation on Wednesday, August 22, 2012.

The comments I quoted above by Mr. Ooman, a Nigerian member of the Baptist Church, are echoed by other Nigerian Protestants. On August 23, the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor announced that Christians will not match the violence against them with violence of their own. He said in part:

“We will not encourage our people to carry arms against anybody whatsoever the situation may be. For those that are behind Boko Haram, you come to us with AK47, bombs, charms and other dangerous weapons, but we come to you in the name of God.

“I want to assure Christians in Nigeria that Christ has always been with his people. He will never give victory to those persecuting Christians and the Church. Whoever is trying to exterminate Christians and Christianity from Nigeria is neither pleasing God nor his people”, he said.

In his welcome address, state chairman of CAN Bishop Emmanuel Ereola Igbokoyi urged Christians not to be timid of whom they were serving as their rewards is in heaven. Read the rest here.

When I asked Mr. Oomen what one thing I should say that Nigeria needed from Americans, here is what he said:

IF there is one thing we can do is to PRAY..without ceasing.

All to often the “Christian church” has flooded the Lord’s work with money and more money using all sorts of cliches and misquoted bible verses like ‘seed money’ etc etc which has nothing to do ‘LIVING AND WITNESSING ‘ AS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST EXPECTS OF US.

DONT  send any money BUT pray without ceasing.

Prayer is far far  more expensive thats why many dont engage in it.

Ask the Churches, and believers JUST PRAY and keep on PRAYING that the Lord will grant us the courage to be HIS witnesses for HIM in these end times. Can you and the others just do that please?

Go  on any webite of the situation in Nigeria – Kano and other places and see what is being reported.

29th April 2012 terrorists burst in and shot dead over 15 believers at the University campus. Of them 4 Professors.

Others students.

Their ONLY crime/ fault . that they were worshiping and praising God on that Sunday.

Now has the work ceased????.. No, instead others instead of fleeing are staying put, WITH MORE boldness given by the HOLY SPIRIT to be living for our Lord Jesus.

When we hear and read of how a Christian nation, founded by those who left Europe because of the persecution they faced, has today abandoned that call, its not only sad but pathetic.

Can any of the western countries ever be called as a Christian nation any more?

It is no different than a child denying his own parents and telling the world ‘ I dont know who they are”…

It is time the Churches in the west turned back to profess and be the witnesses they once were..

Thank you dear sister for your concern. God bless you.

My pledge to Mr. Ooman, and to Archbishop Kaigama, Pastor Oristsejafor and the Bishop from Kano whose name I cannot say is that I will pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary for them this day. 

I am also going to send an email to my United States Senators, asking them to encourage the State Department to help my brothers and sisters in Christ in the Persecuted Church in Nigeria. 

Hopefully, some of you will do the same. 

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