The Koma People of Nigeria from Climbing For Christ on Vimeo.
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Mission: Nigeria will pick up where the 2011 survey trip stopped — evangelizing the lost in the Koma Hills. This will not be easy. Nigeria is not Disney World. Particularly now.
In early January, Boko Haram — a militant Islamist group whose name means “Western education is forbidden” — declared war on Christians in Nigeria. Beginning on CHRISTmas day in 2011 and carrying over into the New Year, more than 85 people were killed in bomb and gun attacks carried out by Boko Haram. Several parts of the country declared states of emergency as assaults were launched on universities, police, secular courts, Christian churches and even mosques. President Goodluck Jonathan, a professing Christian, also closed Nigeria's borders with Chad and Niger Republic.
Boko Haram's determination to institute Sharia law across all of Nigeria was known. Since 1999, Muslim state leaders have imposed Sharia law in 12 northern states and parts of four others. But in a Jan. 11. 2012 videotape, the leader of Boko Haram vowed to render Nigeria “ungovernable.” They desire complete choas.
“Nigeria seems to be sitting on the (keg) of gunpowder that will soon explode. It has reached a level where God has to intervene in the affairs. We sought God's intervention in our (worship) service. That's not enough as I solicit your prayers. When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. How long can we continue to live like slaves in our country at the expense of the minority few? God is both alive and well and able to handle this matter to the glory of His name.” — Pastor Chris Joseph, Climbing For Christ member in Nigeria (Sunday, Jan. 12, 2012)
According to the Voice of the Martyrs this meant that the scale of persecution of Christians by Muslims was likely to spread from Nigeria's northern states to the central plateau. Church leaders warned that Christians would defend themselves by whatever means necessary.
It is our prayer that God would frustrate the plans of the enemy. We also pray that the enemy would realize the love of Christ. As Jesus instructed in Matthew 5:44, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Pray also that the plans of the enemy would not interfere with the plans our Lord has for His ministry in Nigeria.
A Koma woman dancing during a funeral ceremony in a hill village.