NIGERIA – PREDOMINANTLY CHRISTIAN TOWN SEIZED BY BOKO HARAM
Pray for believers in Gwoza, Nigeria, a predominantly Christian town that was invaded and reportedly seized by militants of the Islamist group Boko Haram on 6 August. Residents were shot and slashed to death; eyewitnesses estimated that more than 100 people lost their lives. The assailants continued to loot and pillage the town.
Some of those who managed to escape sought refuge in the nearby Gwoza hills, where they were surviving on wild fruits and at risk of starvation. Some elderly and particularly vulnerable residents remained stranded in Gwoza town without food or water. Reports have emerged that Boko Haram has been enforcing sharia law in Gwoza since it seized the town.
The massacre was preceded by raids on villages near Gwoza, which is in Borno state, and the destruction of church buildings in the region. At least five churches were also set ablaze on 30 July in the Hawul Local Government Area of Borno.
The Gwoza hills have since 2009 been a safe haven for Boko Haram, which aims to establish an Islamist state in Northern Nigeria. Gwoza Local Government Area has been heavily targeted, with the Christian community bearing the brunt of the violence.
Pray for the grieving relatives and friends of those who were so brutally killed when the town was taken. Ask the Lord to protect and provide for Christians who fled from the violence, and petition Him to halt further attacks by Boko Haram on believers in Nigeria.