23 September 2023

Massacre shows risks of Christian faith in Nigeria: Open Doors

This week at least 22 churchgoers in Nigeria were killed by gunmen. Image: peeterv

Kirralee Nicolle

8 June 2022

Christians have been urged to stand with those persecuted for their faith following a massacre in a Nigerian church this week.

At least 22 people were confirmed dead and many more were injured after gunmen entered a Catholic church in the town of Owo.

The men fired guns at the worshippers and detonated explosives, but their identity and motivations are yet to be known, according to a report by the ABC.

Open Doors Australia and New Zealand executive director Mike Gore said that sadly this was not an isolated incident in Nigeria.

Read more: Reporting omission puzzles

Mr Gore said that 4,000 Christians were killed in Nigeria just last year, a number which averages at around one killed every two hours.

He said that the extremist group Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen were primarily to blame for attacks on Christians in the country.

“More Christians are murdered for their faith in Nigeria than any other country,” Mr Gore said.

Mr Gore also said that the broader region of sub-Saharan Africa was set to become the fastest-growing centre of persecution in the world over the next decade.

“We will grieve with the families and the communities who have lost loved ones,” he said.

“We encourage Christians in Western nations to stand with their brothers and sisters around the world who share our faith but not our freedom.”

Mr Gore also urged Christians to pray for comfort, strength and hope for those affected by such attacks, and to consider financially supporting the work of Open Doors.

See here to donate to Open Doors.

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