A Message from National Director Mr Bernard Toutounji
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In some parts of the world going to Sunday Mass requires great faith – as it can cost you your life.
For Catherine Ibrahim from northern Nigeria, one trip to the church resulted in tragedy for her family. The Islamist militants Boko Haram attacked her village during Sunday Mass, killing dozens of people and torching houses and the church. Her husband was brutally murdered in front of her and her children captured. Thankfully, she survived and was eventually reunited with her children. Shockingly, this is becoming the norm for so many Christians living in the region. The violence has left more than 15,000 orphans, 5,000 widows and 2 million internal refugees.
Sadly, the situation has been intensified by further attacks from Islamist Fulani herdsmen on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt region. In response to the attacks, Bishop Anagbe of Makurdi in Benue State said: “There is a clear agenda to Islamise all of the areas that are currently predominantly Christian...”
The scale of the atrocities caused by the Fulani has outstripped that of Boko Haram in recent months. Last February and March, they attacked and killed more than 150 Christians – leaving a trail of “blood, death and sorrow” according to Fr Williams Kaura Abba from Kaduna.
In times like this when the Church is being persecuted, it reminds me of St Paul’s sufferings when he said: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed…persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed…” (2 Cor. 4:8-9)
In spite of the constant threats of violence from Islamist militants, the Church in Nigeria has extraordinary life – with more than 5,000 seminarians. Please continue to pray for and support our suffering brothers and sisters who live the Way of the Cross.
In the enclosed report, ‘Despite the danger and death – the Lord remains forever’, you will read about how Aid to the Church in Need – through your generosity – is providing help and hope to persecuted Christians in Nigeria.
Once again, thank you so much for your faith-filled charity – you are offering the hope of Christ’s love to those who suffer for our precious faith. Please be assured that you too and your own needs will be remembered in prayer.
Yours in Christ,
PS Please support Aid to the Church in Need's projects in Nigeria – and don’t forget to share these stories with your friends and networks. Help us to break the silence of Christian persecution worldwide!
Please support the Church in Nigeria
Support a suffering priest
ACN supports beleaguered priests such as Fr Yeyock, on the frontline of persecution, with financial assistance, spiritual retreats, trauma counselling and more. These priests are serving the faithful in spite of violence and sometimes deadly attacks. Your kind gift can support suffering priests bringing Christ to the faithful in Nigeria.
Construction of churches & church buildings
Christians in northern Nigeria have suffered grievously for their faith. The Islamist militants are determined to close down the Church but thanks to your support, the Church often rises of out of the ashes. ACN is helping to rebuild churches which have been burnt down or desecrated. Please kindly give whatever you can to support this and other ongoing projects of Aid to the Church in Nigeria.