Last year’s military coup has added to the growing hostility felt by many Christians across Niger.
In July 2023, Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, head of the presidential guard’s unit, declared himself Niger’s new leader, prompting concerns that this will open the country up to further attacks from Islamic extremists.
In areas under militant control, church services and other events are carried out under the shadow of potential violence or physical attack. The instability in the Sahel region only adds to this vulnerability.
Those who leave Islam to follow Jesus face the additional challenge of pressure from their own families to renounce their new faith. Pressure also comes from the authorities, and this could likely increase in the near future. Believers can also face discrimination in the public sector workplace; they seldom secure jobs within local government services, and promotions are frequently denied.
“I would like you to pray for me. Currently, I live with a Christian family and I’m well nourished. I’m well protected in this Christian family. But I would like you to pray for me so that my faith will not grow cold, and that my mom will give her life to Christ.”
Halima (name changed), who has been persecuted by her mother because of her faith.
What does Open Doors do to help?
Open Doors works through partners in Niger to strengthen persecuted Christians through economic empowerment programmes, leadership and discipleship training, persecution survival training and pastoral care for new believers.