Boko Haram Expansion an Imminent Threat in Nigeria

Representative image courtesy of Open Doors USA

An uptick in Boko Haram violence killed more than 50 soldiers and aid workers in recent weeks. They’ve also kidnapped dozens of women and children, Anadolu Agency reports.

Eleven years of terrorist violence in Nigeria, mainly at the hands of Boko Haram, has displaced more than three million people. Now, Boko Haram is expanding its reach.

“Boko Haram would love to have a caliphate. I don’t know that they’ve cobbled together the ‘organizational know-how’ to do it yet, but they’ve effectively begun the process,” David Curry of Open Doors USA says.

“They have always worked as a terrorist group, but now they want to capture territory.”

More about Boko Haram expansion here.

“It’s not a surprise to Open Doors. We’ve been trying to ring this alarm bell for some time now,” Curry says.

“The government of Nigeria and, to some extent, the Western governments, have seen this as a ‘second-tier’ problem, but it’s not. It’s a ‘first tier’ issue.”

Boko Haram’s ruthless pursuit

Boko Haram follows the tenants of radical Islam, putting Christians high on the ‘hit list.’ The insurgency also places Nigeria at #12 of 50 countries on Open Doors’ World Watch List.

Nigerian believers often seek safety in numbers. Unfortunately, this only makes it easier to find them. Militants identify villages with high Christian populations, then “attack these villages [and] burn them down,” Curry says.

“[They] blow up churches, kill Christians that might be walking around the street.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth

CALL TO ACTION

  • The violence against Christians by militant Islamic groups often ends in loss of life and physical injury, as well as loss of property. Pray for those dealing with the effects of recent violence against them. Please pray for the Lord’s provision in all areas of physical and spiritual need.
  • Thousands of women remain in Boko Haram captivity. Pray for their liberation. Pray those who have been freed or managed to escape receive proper physical and emotional care.