Northern Nigeria: The impact of persistent violence on the Church



A report has just been published by Open Doors and the Christian Association of Nigeria entitled, ‘Crushed but not defeated. The impact of persistent violence on the Church in Northern Nigeria.

It makes for disturbing reading. The Christians in this country have been increasingly targeted by violence and need our prayers. Below is a summary:

1. Christians in Northern Nigeria face violence from different sides;

2. A minimum of 9,000-11,500 Christians have been killed;

3. 1.3 million Christians have become internally displaced or forced to relocate elsewhere, since 2000;

4. Many churches have seen a steep decline in their memberships, 13,000 churches have been closed or destroyed

5. Thousands of Christian businesses, houses and other property have been destroyed;

6. Distrust and fear of Christians towards Muslims have hugely increased, leading to more segregation;

7. Christians in Northern Nigeria frequently face marginalization and discrimination, especially in the Sharia states in
the Far North, but also in the Middle Belt states;

8. Participation in church activities as well as the private life of Christians have been severely affected. There has been
a steep decline due to insecurity and migration, but there is also an increased commitment amongst the Christians
that have stayed behind;

9. All over Northern Nigeria, the impact of persistent violence on Christian communities is enormous (decrease in
numbers, traumatization, being overwhelmed by the influx of displaced and relocating Christian, loss of property
and lack of resources);

10. Christians in Northern Nigeria have reported an increased experience of connection with God and His presence;

11. To adopt the Christian attitude of ‘love your enemies’ is seen as a real challenge by Christians;

12. Christians affected by targeted violence have been left severely traumatized