• Ray's Books
    Books by Ray, republished 2016
  • Treehaven3
    Treehaven, South Africa: International Retreat and Training Centre
  • Treehaven1
    South African Students Undergoing Training at Treehaven
  • Ray
    Ray Barnett, founder, Friends In The West
  • Corrymeela cross
    Prayers and practical help for those suffering through violence and war.

Monthly archives: March, 2015

Muhammadu Buhari Defeats Incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria Presidential Election

By Troy Augustine

3/31/2015 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Fulani Muslim Muhammadu Buhari (All Progressive Congress) has unseated Christian incumbent Goodluck Jonathan (People’s Democratic Party) in Nigeria’s presidential election.

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Jonathan called Buhari Tuesday evening, local time, to concede defeat and congratulate Buhari on the victory, according to the BBC. Buhari held a lead of more than 2 million votes. The defeat for Jonathan represents the first time in Nigerian history that a sitting president has been defeated by a challenger and the first opposition victory since the People’s Democratic Party ascended to power in 1999.



The man who talks to Boko Haram

One year after the kidnaping of 232 Nigerian girls, Australian Stephen Davis still says his contacts indicate government complicity.

A year ago April 14, Boko Haram kidnapped 275 girls from the government secondary school in the Christian-dominated town of Chibok, Borno State.

Students reported to the Chibok Government Secondary Boarding School on Sunday, April 13, to take an exam on Tuesday morning, April 15, despite the fact that the government had closed schools across the state because it could not offer protection. At about 11pm armed Boko Haram insurgents broke into the school. They burned the administration block and classrooms. Dressed in military uniforms, they told the girls that Chibok was under attack but that they were there to protect them. The girls believed them and obeyed their orders to mount the vehicles outside. Forty three girls escaped, some during the attack at the school; others during the journey to a camp in the Sambisa forest, where the captive girls were initially kept.

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A truck promotes the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag campaign used by protesters of the 2014 Chibok kidnapping  Photo: Wikimedia CC

One year on, the 232 girls taken that night from Chibok remain in rebel custody. It is not clear where they are being held or what circumstances they had been facing this past year. The first of the babies born to the girls since their captivity arrived in mid-February this year. Four girls who managed to escape after their arrival at the Boko Haram camp reported that they were raped almost on a daily basis. They said those who did not cooperate with the rebels faced severe punishment. Some other girls who were captured before the Chibok girls, and who managed to escape after varying time in captivity, said some girls were killed because they would not renounce their Christian faith.  



Gunmen kill 100 Christian Villagers in Central Nigeria

While all eyes are on Nigeria’s north-eastern regions where the radical group Boko Haram is at last being challenged by multi-national military forces, violence targeting Christian communities in the group of states across the centre of Nigeria, known as the Middle Belt, has increased dramatically. This comes ahead of Presidential elections on 28 March.

In the early hours of 15 March in a village in Benue state, close to the Cameroon border, 100 people, including women and children, were slaughtered by Fulani herdsmen who broke into homes and started shooting while their victims slept.

A witness who escaped the killings said ‘we were still sleeping when they entered our village and started shooting sporadically in all directions killing every human and animal in sight’. 



Kidnapped Chibok girls – News update

In this report, CBN News cameras travel to Nigeria, and speak with relatives and friends of the 219 girls from Chibok, who continue to be held captive by Boko Haram. A year ago next month, fighters kidnapped 276 girls, mostly Christian, from their school in Chibok. Fifty-seven escaped, but 219 are still being held. The girls’ abduction drew global protests and launched the Twitter hash tag campaign #BringBackOurGirls. But as time passes, there is a grave danger of the plight of the girls being forgotten. We at Friends In The West, along with CBN and many other groups and organisations around the world, want to encourage people to continue to pray for the release of these girls. 

Please visit our Home page on this site to read about how this Chibok incident inspired our founder to re-launch the prayer bracelet campaign.

 



Pakistan Church Attacks: Bombers kill 17

Published: March 16, 2015 by Asif Aqeel

At least 17 people were killed, and 80 others injured, as two churches in the main Christian district of Lahore, Pakistan, were attacked March 15. An Islamist group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, linked to the Pakistan Taliban, claimed responsibility.
At least two of the young attackers blew themselves up – one at each church – when volunteer security guards, working with local police, confronted them at the entrances to the churches.

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At St. John Church, the bomber was kept outside of the courtyard by a security volunteer who dragged the attacker off the wall. World Watch Monitor

The attacks were timed to cause maximum damage; more than 2,000 worshippers were present in the two churches for Sunday services. But prompt action by the Christian volunteers prevented the attackers from entering the buildings.

The incidents took place in Yahounabad, the poverty-stricken Christian neighbourhood in Lahore, outside two churches, St. John’s Catholic Church and the Protestant Christ Church, separated by just 400 metres.