Six Christians were reported to have been murdered in the first terrorist attack of its kind in Nigeria’s northeastern Taraba state.
After an explosion killed the six believers and wounded more than a dozen others at a Christian-owned market on April 19, Islamic State West Africa Province released a statement admitting that it had detonated the explosive at ‘a gathering of infidel Christians’, according to local reports.
A week later militant Fulani herdsmen were among those who attacked four villages in the northern Kaduna state, killing 18 Christians and burning down 92 houses, it was reported. Kaduna has witnessed horrific violence against Christians in recent weeks.
Boost for Egyptian believers
Around 240 churches and places of worship in Egypt were granted legal status last month.
The decision by the government committee that oversees the legalisation of churches brings to 2,401 the number that have been granted legal status since the committee began its mandate in 2017.
In Egypt, churches must apply for legal status for their buildings, which in the past had to be approved by the security agencies.
A few days later, nine Coptic Christians were released from prison. The group were provisionally arrested in January after taking part in protests demanding permission to rebuild a church in Minya, which was destroyed in suspicious circumstances in 2016.
Our partner in Egypt said: ‘The whole incident of the burning down of churches and resulting demonstrations to rebuild is a recurring one, particularly in Upper Egypt villages. The rebuilding and building of churches has always been a challenge. Things are certainly much better now than they were, and the President's release of the nine detained Christians is definitely a positive step that we pray is a sign of even further progress in the near future.’
(Sources: CSW; Morning Star News; Release International partner)
Please continue to pray for the many Christians bereaved and injured in Kaduna, Taraba and the wider northern region, as the Nigerian government continues to fail to protect its own people. Pray that believers will stay strong in the Lord, responding in love to their persecutors, and that the bloodshed will end.
Thank God that more churches in Egypt have been granted legal status and that the nine Coptic Christians have been released from prison.
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