SANTA ANA, Calif. – Open Doors USA has issued an urgent appeal for prayer after receiving news that suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked the predominantly Nigerian Christian village of Zangan in southern Kaduna state around midnight on Monday.
Local sources report fatalities and Open Doors says it understands "the entire village has been destroyed.”
The village chief's residence was reportedly burnt to the ground and the village chief's whereabouts remain unknown after he fled Zangan.
Churches and homes were among the buildings destroyed in the attack.
Open Doors reports: "Zangan villagers are fleeing in large numbers for fear of escalating violence. Local sources have told us that Boko Haram had vowed earlier to destroy the predominantly Christian communities located in southern Kaduna.
"We do not have any more details at this stage, but understand that this area saw a similar attack about four weeks ago. Open Doors urges to pray for the people of southern Kaduna state and Zangan village in particular."
“The extremist group Boko Haram wants to create an Islamic state and put Sharia Law into effect in a country split almost equally between Christians and Muslims,” says Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra. “Attacks by Boko Haram have killed more than 3,000 people since 2009, based on figures from Human Rights Watch. Please pray for peace as the violence is spreading, especially in northern Nigeria.”
Open Doors has been active in Nigeria since 1997. The outreach includes: Bible distribution, care for Muslim Background Believers (MBBs), training of leaders on cross-cultural ministry, ministry skills training, Sunday school training, assistance to Christians in Sharia-controlled states targeting schooling for their children, the implementation of socio-economic projects for MBBs and widows of Christian leaders who have been killed, emergency support in crisis situations and trauma counseling.
Nigeria is ranked No. 13 on the Open Doors 2013 World Watch List (www.worldwatchlist.us) of the worst persecutors in the world.
For almost 60 years Open Doors has worked in the world's most oppressive and restrictive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ's light in these places. Open Doors empowers persecuted Christians by supplying Bibles and Christian literature, training Christian leaders, facilitating social/economic projects and uniting believers in the West in prayer for Christians, who are the most persecuted religious group in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our website at OpenDoorsUSA.org.
c. 2013 Open Doors USA. Used with permission.
Publication date: May 14, 2013