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World Watch Update: Nigeria

Region: West Africa
2018 World Watch List Position: #14
Leader: President Muhammadu Buhari
Population: 191 836 000 (46.3% are Christian)
Main Religion: Christianity and Islam
Government: Federal Presidential Republic
Sources of Persecution: Islamic Oppression

Islam is the dominant religion in northern Nigeria, while Christianity is dominant in the south. Radical groups such as Boko Haram and Muslim Fulani herdsmen violently persecute believers in northern Nigeria, where Christians are treated as second-class citizens. Converts face rejection from their Muslim families and pressure to recant.

Women and girls are often abducted and sexually assaulted by Boko Haram and Muslim Fulani herdsmen, and then forced to marry them. Laws which permit underage marriage (as well as the cultural and religious norms that discourage girls from going to school) contribute to this problem. The persecution of women and girls deeply impacts the Church and Christian families.

With this in mind, please:

  • Pray with Nigerian Christians for their protection, particularly for women at risk of being abducted and forced to marry Muslim men.
  • Pray for comfort and strength for the thousands of displaced Christians – and wisdom for Open Doors’ partners who are serving them.
  • Pray for the safe return of Chibok schoolgirls that are still in captivity, and their awaiting families.
  • Pray for neglected Christian villages that are struggling without water and health care.
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