NORTHERN NIGERIA: BOKO HARAM PLOT TO 'END THE CHRISTIAN PRESENCE'

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | RLPB 149 | Wed 07 Mar 2012

NORTHERN NIGERIA: BOKO HARAM PLOT TO 'END THE CHRISTIAN PRESENCE'
    (plus SUDAN UPDATE)

By Elizabeth Kendal

Evidence indicates Boko Haram, the Nigerian al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group, has transformed numerous suburban homes across the north of Nigeria into bomb-making factories. Several militants have been killed recently in Maiduguri, Damaturu and Kaduna when bombs exploded accidentally. Boko Haram's targets include schools, police stations, banks, government buildings and churches. Apart from these strategic bombings, the militants also roam the streets killing people randomly. Bauchi State Police Commissioner Aduba Ikechukwu says these militants are well armed, carrying sophisticated weapons including machine guns, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Boko Haram's aim is to make Nigeria ungovernable so they might extract concessions towards the Islamisation of Nigeria. Al-Qaeda supports Boko Haram as a way of furthering its own goal of establishing a sanctuary and base of operations in Northern Nigeria from where it can launch jihad into West Africa.  

On Sunday 4 March Egypt-based news website Bikya Masr spoke by phone to a spokesman from Boko Haram who told them that Boko Haram is preparing to launch a 'war' against Christians. He said the campaign, which will involve numerous co-ordinated attacks, is part of a 'plan to eradicate Christians from certain parts of the country'. He also boasted that the government 'cannot be prepared for what is to come'. Such a threat indicates that Boko Haram may be preparing to launch a wave of co-ordinated suicide bombings targeting Christians. The Boko Haram spokesman told Mikya Masr, 'We will create so much effort to end the Christian presence in our push to have a proper Islamic state that the Christians won't be able to stay.'  

On Tuesday 6 March the same Boko Haram spokesman told Bikya Masr that the group also plans to 'strike fear into the Christians of the power of Islam by kidnapping their women'. According to the spokesman, the kidnapped Christian women will not be harmed, 'but we [Boko Haram] will demand as ransom that the families leave our Islamic areas'.  

PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY THAT GOD WILL --  

* protect and deliver his threatened children. 'For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.' (Psalm 27:5 ESV)

* humble and frustrate those who plot against his Church. 'Give to them according to their work and according to the evil of their deeds; give to them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward.' (Psalm 28: 4 ESV)  

* redeem these dark days of suffering, to bring awakening to many Muslims and revival to the Church. For only then -- after they come to the LORD -- 'they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks . . .'                  (from Isaiah 2:2-4 ESV).  

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SUMMARY TO USE IN BULLETINS UNABLE TO RUN THE WHOLE ARTICLE                      

BOKO HARAM PLOT TO 'END THE CHRISTIAN PRESENCE' IN NORTHERN NIGERIA

The al-Qaeda-linked Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram has declared it is plotting to 'end the Christian presence' in much of Northern Nigeria. According to a spokesman, the group is preparing to launch a 'war', a campaign of terror, against Christians through co-ordinated bombings and kidnapping Christian women. The women reportedly will be held for ransom and returned only to Christian families who leave the region. The goal is to eradicate Christians completely so that a 'proper Islamic state' might be established. The authorities say Boko Haram is well armed with sophisticated weaponry and munitions. This new threat against Christians is very direct and indicates very dangerous days lie ahead. Please pray that God will shield his people and rise up in defence of his Church. May God be glorified.  

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Also: WATCHING SUDAN (Updating RLPBs 147 &148)

The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF; also known as the Kauda Alliance) is an alliance of rebel groups from Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. On 26 February the SRF defeated Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) troops at the strategic garrison town of Jau near the South Sudan border (see RLPB 148). The victory has theoretically opened the Kauda Valley for the Nuba refugees fleeing from genocide. The SRF is appealing for a no-fly zone to be established so that much-needed humanitarian aid can be delivered. On Saturday 3 March Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir declared that the SAF would 'purge South Kordofan' of 'traitors'. To that end he ordered the reopening of all Popular Defense Forces (PDF) camps across the nation. [The PDF are Arab-Islamic paramilitaries or 'mujahideen'.] He arrogantly predicted that SAF troops would soon perform thanksgiving prayers in the town of Kauda. On 6 March the pro-Khartoum Sudan Vision reported that up to 80,000 paramilitary troops are ready to die in 'defence of the country and its Islamic belief'. Persevere in prayer for our imperilled brothers and sisters fleeing from genocide in Sudan. Psalm 10:16-18.   

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This RLPB was written for the Australian Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission (AEA RLC) by Elizabeth Kendal, an international religious liberty analyst and advocate, and a member of the AEA RLC team.

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