Followers of local animist traditions in the village of Grahipla had planned an initiation ceremony on July 31, 2022, and told Christians not to worship that day. Local Christians decided the threat would not stop them. But on that day, animist initiates attacked five churches, three of which were holding services.

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On Aug. 17, police arrested six adults and one child from the Xi’an Church of Abundance, aggressively searched their homes, and interrogated them at the police station before sending them home. The next day, the six adults were rearrested and charged with illegal gathering and illegal fundraising.

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Two years ago, extremist Muslims launched attacks on Christians in the community where Isayas lives. They torched Christians’ crops, homes and possessions and destroyed the church where Isayas and others worshiped Christ. The Christians fled the area but later returned and bought land on which to rebuild their church.

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When 18-year-old Rung and her brother left their village to find work, they were employed by a Christian family whose example won Rung and her brother to the Lord. After they returned to the village, their mother became ill, which was blamed on their Christian faith.

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Pastor Nahtiya, his son and other church members had worshiped together and were walking home through the jungle when they were ambushed by Hindu radicals throwing stones at them. Some were able to break away only to be attacked again by villagers wielding axes, sticks and other tools.

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In recent years, Fulani militants have been attacking Christian areas of northern Nigeria, regularly kidnapping, injuring, and killing thousands of people. To protect their town, Pastor Ibrahim Isa and a group of men guarded it throughout the night.

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