9

Nigeria

Nigeria

World Watch List Rank 9
World Watch List Score 85/100
Leader President Muhammadu Buhari
Population 206,153,000 | 95,358,000 Christians
Main Religion Christianity
WWL Rank in 2020 12
Persecution Level Extreme Persecution

More Christians are murdered for their faith in Nigeria than in any other country. Violent attacks by militant groups are common in the north and middle belt of the country, and are becoming more common farther south.  
 
In these attacks, Christians are often murdered or have their property destroyed. Men and boys are particularly vulnerable to being killed. Christian women are often abducted and raped by these militant groups, and sometimes forced to marry Muslims. Perpetrators are seldom brought to justice.  
 
Many Christians who are driven out of their villages are forced to become internally displaced persons (IDPs), often living in informal IDP camps. These believers continue to suffer even after the brutality of the initial persecution.   

What changed this year?

Nigeria has risen several places on the World Watch List, and persecution has worsened in all areas of public and private life. Violence against Christians perpetrated by Boko Haram, Fulani militants and ISWAP (Islamic State West Africa Province)—as well as other, unidentified armed attackers—has led to tremendous suffering among the Christian community. Nigeria entered the top 10 of the 2021 World Watch List primarily because this violence has increased and begun to spill out into other parts of Nigeria, and the government seems unable or unwilling to protect its Christian citizens. Islamic extremist attacks have not abated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Christians who are staying at home to combat the spread of the virus have been vulnerable to attack.  

 HOW WE HELP

Open Doors partners with the local church to strengthen persecuted believers in Nigeria through discipleship and persecution survival training, community development projects, emergency relief, trauma care and legal assistance.

PRAY FOR NIGERIA

  • Pray for the Lord’s grace and comfort for believers who have experienced trauma. Ask the Lord to be near those who have been kidnapped and pray that they will be released or rescued.
  • Pray that the country’s leaders will take decisive actions to protect all citizens in every part of the country. 
  • Pray that the programs provided by Open Doors partners will strengthen the church to share the gospel in very difficult circumstances.  
Pray for Nigeria

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