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Prayer alert: The Church in sub-Saharan Africa is under attack

Today, 21 March, is Human Rights Day in South Africa, on which we remember the sacrifices made to achieve democracy.

On this day, many across our nation reflect on our human rights progress. One of those rights is freedom of religion, belief and opinion, which we are fortunate to be able to exercise in our country. That’s not true for other parts of our continent.

In many World Watch List (WWL) countries, Christians are targeted for their faith. They are persecuted, discriminated against and victimised because they choose to follow Christ. This causes violence against Christians in some nations but is more subtle in others, woven into laws, education, and jobs.

Some of those countries are found in Africa, like Nigeria (#6 on the WWL) and Burkina Faso (#20 on the WWL), which are among the top 10 most violent countries for Christians.

With Easter approaching, it’s an all-too-common story: an attack against God’s people on one of the most important days of celebration for Christians. And it just happened again last Christmas – more than 120 people lost their lives in a series of brutal attacks against Christian-majority villages in Nigeria.

As recently as February, militants attacked three villages in north central Burkina Faso and killed 170 people. This came just days after an attack on a church in Essakane village, where 15 Christians were killed.

Over and over, we have seen defenceless Christians attacked without any provocation whatsoever,” says Jo Newhouse, Open Doors’ spokesperson for operations in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Church in sub-Saharan Africa is under brutal attack. We must pray for our family in Christ in the region.


  • Pray for strength and resilience for the hundreds of families affected each day by these attacks.
  • Pray for encouragement and provision for those who have had to flee because of these attacks.
  • Pray for the Lord to meet the ever-growing needs of these IDPs in the host communities.
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