CRISIS in NORTHERN NIGERIA: Urgent Prayer/Support Required!

Gospel Festival in Northern Nigeria to Commence in 9 Days

- Urgent Prayer Required -

"Hundreds of people are reported to have been killed in central Nigeria after Christians and Muslims clashed over the result of a local election."- B.B.C. (see full BBC report below)

These horrific scenes were played out just two days ago, bringing World Impact Ministries Festival preparations in Ikara, Nigeria grinding to a temporary halt. Ikara is located in Kaduna State, which neighbors Jos State, the location of the post election violence and bloodshed. Just seven years ago, the same scenes, if not worse, were played out in Kaduna State. Precautions are being taken to safeguard the violence from spreading into Kaduna State, and strict curfews and rules have been implemented .

"For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries."
1 Corinthians 16:9

Just like the Apostle Paul, Peter Youngren and World Impact Ministries face a similar scenario. Ikara Friendship Festival is scheduled to commence in just 9 days. The preparation teams are already on the ground in Ikara, and work is well underway. This Festival needs your prayers and support now more than ever. A Gospel Festival of this magnitude has never been conducted in Ikara. Anticipation was extremely high leading into this past weekend, however certain fears that the violence could spread over into Kaduna State have been cause for concern. 

World Impact Ministries has seen history made in Northern Nigeria this past year. Unlike Southern Nigeria, where the majority are Christians, Northern Nigeria is predominantly Islamic. From Kaduna to Zaria, two of Nigeria’s 10 largest cities, both located in Northern Nigeria, Peter Youngren has received incredible open doors of favor. The Governor of Kaduna State, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, held an official state dinner welcoming Peter to Kaduna State, and the dinner was aired on live radio to the entire province. Since then Peter has had the privilege of meeting the Governor at his offices, and the Governor pledged his support of Peter conducting Gospel Festivals throughout Northern Nigeria. Our team in Northern Nigeria was just contacted by Governor Mohammed Sambo, and he pledged his support and security for the Festival in Ikara despite the ongoing violence in nearby Jos. God’s hand of favor and blessing are on these meetings.

In a country where over 50% of people live in rural areas, Ikara is a rural area predominantly made up of Hausa people. The Hausa people comprise one of Nigeria’s largest people groups. To date, well over 95% are Islamic in faith. Their roots to Islam date back to the 14th century in Arabia.

Friend, this Festival is breaking new ground for the Gospel. Together we are on the front lines of Gospel Advancement. Never before has a Gospel meeting of this magnitude been conducted in Ikara. We are privileged to take the Gospel to the heart of Northern Nigeria, but we need your prayers and support now more than ever. The violence and killing in Jos has provided a set back to our preparation work for the Festival. However, God’s hand of favor has allowed the work to continue, and the Festival will go forward.

Think of the thousands of precious Hausa people in Northern Nigeria that will hear of God’s love for them revealed through Jesus without any religious or political discrimination.  Thank you for taking time today to pray for this Festival. Let us know you are standing with us in prayer.

Thank you in advance for your best financial support you can share at this critical time.

Click on either link below to send Peter your message of support or to support financially.

- Report from BBC News - November 30, 2008 -

Riots ‘kill hundreds in Nigeria’

Hundreds of people are reported to have been killed in central Nigeria after Christians and Muslims clashed over the result of a local election.

A Muslim charity in the town of Jos says it collected more than 300 bodies, and fatalities are also expected among Christians.

There is no official confirmation yet, and figures are notoriously unreliable in Nigeria, says the BBC’s Alex Last.

Police have imposed a 24-hour curfew and the army is patrolling the streets.

They have been given orders to shoot on sight in an effort to quell hostilities that mark the worst clashes in the restive West African nation since 2004.

For the second straight day on Saturday, angry mobs went through the town burning homes, churches and mosques.

The Nigerian Red Cross says at least 10,000 people have fled their homes.

Contested Election

The mostly Christian-backed governing party, the People’s Democratic Party, was declared to have won the state elections in Plateau state, of which Jos is the capital city.

The result was contested by the opposition All Nigeria People’s Party, which has support from Muslims.

Violence started on Thursday night as groups of angry youths burnt tyres on the roads over reports of election rigging.

Bodies from the Muslim Hausa community were brought into the central mosque compound.

The local imam, Sheikh Khalid Abubakar, said more than 300 dead bodies were brought there on Saturday alone.

Those killed in the Christian community would probably be taken to the city morgue, raising the possibility that the total death toll could be much higher.

Police spokesman Bala Kassim said there were "many dead," but couldn’t cite a firm number.

Despite the overnight curfew, groups in some areas took to the streets again as soon as police patrols had passed by.

Troubled Past

In 2001, more than 1,000 people died in religious clashes in the city, situated in Nigeria’s fertile "middle belt" that separates the Muslim north from the predominantly Christian south.

And in 2004, a state of emergency was declared in Plateau state after more than 200 Muslims were killed in the town of Yelwa in attacks by Christian militia.

Correspondents say communal violence in Nigeria is complex, but it often boils down to competition for resources such as land between those that see themselves as indigenous versus the more recent settlers.

In Plateau, Christians are regarded as being indigenous and Hausa-speaking Muslims the settlers.

TIMELINE-Ethnic and religious unrest in Nigeria (from Reuters News)

Sun 30 Nov 2008, 12:15 GMT

Nov 30 (Reuters) - Clashes between Muslim and Christian gangs triggered by a disputed election have killed hundreds of people in the central Nigerian city of Jos, the worst unrest in the country for years.

Following is a timeline of major religious and ethnic violence in recent years in Africa’s most populous nation, divided into at least 200 distinct ethnic groups:

2000 - Thousands of people are killed throughout northern Nigeria as non-Muslims opposed to the introduction of strict Islamic sharia law fight with Muslims who demand its implementation in the northern state of Kaduna.

Sept. 2001 - Christian-Muslim violence flares after Muslim prayers in Jos, with churches and mosques set on fire. According to a September 2002 report by a panel set up by Plateau state government, at least 915 people are killed in days of rioting.

Nov. 2002 - Nigeria decides to abandon the Miss World contest in Abuja. At least 215 people die in rioting in the northern city of Kaduna following a newspaper article suggesting the Prophet Mohammad would probably have married one of the Miss World beauty queens if he were alive today. May 2004 - Hundreds of people, mostly Muslim Fulanis, are killed by Christian Tarok militia in the central Nigerian town of Yelwa. Survivors say they buried 630 corpses. Police say “hundreds” were killed.

—Muslim and Christian militants fight bloody street battles later the same month in the northern city of Kano. Christian community leaders say 500-600 people, mostly Christians, were killed in the two days of rioting by Muslims.

Feb. 2006 - A week of rioting by Muslim and Christian mobs claims at least 157 lives. The violence begins in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, when a Muslim protest against Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad runs out of control. Revenge attacks follow in the south.

Nov. 2008 - Clashes between Muslim and Christian gangs triggered by a disputed local government chairmanship election kill at least 400 people in the central city of Jos.

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