The Muslim extremist group Boko Haram has become synonymous with violence against Christians. Christian persecution rises once again in Nigeria where Christians were brutally killed and raped. Open Doors is reaching out to worldwide Christians to help with prayer insightfully and teaches believers how to come alongside for our brothers and sisters. The broken-down tragic and complex situations are broken into seven specific areas for an easier understanding.
First, The Fulani are an unreached Muslim people group. With less than 1 percent of professing Christians among them, they are yet unreached with the gospel. According to Open Doors, almost 100 percent follow Islam.
Second, they are in conflict with grain farmers in Northern Nigeria's strategic Middle Belt. Most of the villagers there are grain farmers who grow good for the whole county. As climate change and environmental factors come in, Nigerian's come into contact and conflict with the Christians.
Third, although socio-economic factors drive the conflict, a religious motive is clear. Christians are indiscriminately targeted and Muslims are mostly spared. Open Door's research states, "88 percent of Fulani attack victims in Nigeria's Benue State were Christians. In Taraba State, 70 percent of victims were Christians. Last but not least, in Nasarawa State, 75 percent of the victims were Christians.
Fourth, the violent and brutal attacks continue to increase. Studies show January this year, more than 60,000 people died since 2001 in pastoralist-related violence. Thousands have been injured in the attacks, and hundreds of women have been kidnapped. Fulani militants have destroyed countless homes and churches and seized large swathes of land and property.
Fifth, The Nigerian Christians say the government is failing them. Christians are frustrated by the lack of governmental intervention and concern over the violence and property loss.
Sixth, the Christians say Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari has not effectively addressed Fulani violence. "President act now: your people are killing us." Accordingly, his silence comes with many direct and indirect implications most of which threaten Nigeria's unity and breed instability. According to OpenDoors, he is seen as biased because he continues to talk tough on the secessionists and millitants in southern Nigeria.
Seventh, Last but not least, a little help goes a long way. Open Doors shared a prayer request along with Mary Lumumba's statement, "My house was totally burned down in the Fulani crisis. I have been going from house to house begging for a bowl of corn to feed my children, but today you have given me 100 kilograms of maize all to myself. God indeed is faithful. May God bless every pocket that is given to see that we are being helped."
Open Doors reminds Christians that no matter what the circumstances are, God is within us and we must support and help out our brothers and sisters as one, especially throughout the pandemic.