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Nigeria: Walking Corpses

VOM workers say Christians in northern Nigeria are facing unprecedented trials and fierce persecution. It was therefore a special privilege for VOM workers to distribute the gift of 37 bicycles, 15 motorcycles and 50 megaphones to pastors and Christians workers in the north recently. These simple tools will help them evangelize and preach the gospel in northern Nigeria.

At a distribution in Gombe state, one of the hardest hit areas in the north, at least 2,500 Christians gathered for a worship service. Widows, orphans, pastors and entire families from all over Gombe came together to hear a pastor preach about loving their neighbors. The pastor reminded worshipers that they must not hate their attackers and that martyrs like Stephen forgave his attackers.

“At this point, I began to realize the weight of love,” a VOM worker at the distribution said. “This made everyone focus on the Lord’s intent and design for us, which surpasses all understanding.”

Christians are targeted and “butchered like animals” nearly every day in northern Nigerian cities, with little alarm sounded by the international community, according to the VOM worker. Christians are targeted in their homes, at their businesses, on farms, while traveling on highways and even in their churches.

“These Christians are imprisoned — though there may not be physical walls barricading them — but they are confined to one fate which is death by bombing, bullet, fire, cutlasses, machetes and economic hardship,” the VOM worker said. “Christians are not allowed to go to markets or farms, all for the sake of their faith in Christ Jesus.

“These Christians live as if every day were their last. Someone told me in one of the cities, ‘We are just but walking corpses on the street waiting for our burial days.’ And although seen as second class citizens, these Christians [in northern Nigeria] remain strong in their faith and only wish to advance the gospel.”

The gift of bicycles, motorcycles and megaphones will help these faithful believers in northern Nigeria continue to advance the gospel in a hostile land.

Sources: VOM contacts

Posted: February 4, 2013

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