9

Nigeria

Nigeria

World Watch List Rank9
World Watch List Score85/100
LeaderPresident Muhammadu Buhari
Population206,153,000 | 95,358,000 Christians
Main ReligionChristianity
WWL Rank in 202012
Persecution LevelExtreme 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.

RECENT STORIES FROM Nigeria

Your Christmas gifts help Sele realize his dream

19th Nov 2021

Found in Prayer News

For Christians across the globe, Christmas marks a time to celebrate our Saviour’s birth. However, for many, like 13-year-old Sele and his family in Nigeria,…

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Some Good News

20th Oct 2021

Found in Podcast

In a show about persecution, the content can often be disheartening, but today we want to focus on some good news. In this episode, we’ll…

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A Chibok Girl released, violence in Nigeria, and other recent news

11th Aug 2021

Found in Podcast

In this episode, Jared will share some recent news from the persecuted church including updates from Nigeria, Bangladesh and Egypt. listen in to hear what’s…

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From kidnapped Chibok girl to University Graduate

14th Jul 2021

Found in Prayer News

Last week, Mary Katambi graduated university degree in accounting. It was a beautiful day, and like any graduation day it was full of joy and…

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Trauma Care for Persecuted Believers Part 2

23rd Jun 2021

Found in Podcast

Saturday, June 19 was the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. To bring attention to this issue,  Andrew interviewed Tirham* who…

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Trauma Care for Persecuted Believers Part 1

16th Jun 2021

Found in Podcast

Saturday, June 19 is the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. To bring attention to this issue, Andrew interviewed Tirham* who…

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Nigerian Church Members kidnapped, “nation is on fire” says Senator.

31st May 2021

Found in Prayer News

Four women were kidnapped, one person killed and another injured during an April attack on a church in Nigeria’s southern Kaduna state. On Sunday, 25 April,…

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Pastor Jeremiah remains faithful amidst violence

01st Apr 2021

Found in Prayer News

“WHEN WE GO TO SLEEP AT NIGHT, WE ARE NEVER SURE WHETHER WE WILL MAKE IT ALIVE TO THE NEXT DAY.”  As Pastor Jeremiah says…

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Boko Haram increasing its reach in Nigeria

25th Mar 2021

Found in Prayer News

No country on the World Watch List in 2021 had a higher increase in the “violence” score than Nigeria. Increased acts of violence were particularly…

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When faith overcomes the fire: The Story of Hajaratu

16th Mar 2021

Found in Featured Story

A Nigerian widow struggles with loss in the wake of a violent attack The dirt road to Chibob is the color of burnt sienna, strewn with potholes…

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Myanmar unrest continues, violence escalates

05th Mar 2021

Found in Prayer News

At least 38 people died on March 3, in Myanmar’s bloodiest day since the military takeover. One month into the new government, a total of…

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How the coup in Myanmar is affecting Christians

03rd Mar 2021

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Myanmar recently underwent a military coup d’etat. In recent weeks there have been protests and eruption of violence. In this episode, we’ll talk about how…

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Kidnappings indicate a growing problem in Sub-Saharan Africa

02nd Mar 2021

Found in Prayer News

Last month, Open Doors marked the third anniversary of the kidnapping of Leah Sharibu. Leah was one of over 100 kidnapping victims taken from her…

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Increasing Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa

24th Feb 2021

Found in Podcast

One of the major trends of the 2021 World Watch List is the increasing violence in sub-Saharan Africa. Listen in as we talk about why…

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The world has not forgotten Leah Sharibu

18th Feb 2021

Found in Prayer News

Dapchi is a town in northern Nigeria. On February 19, 2018, it saw the unthinkable happen. Terrorists belonging to the Islamic State West Africa Province…

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Five Christians executed in Nigeria

07th Jan 2021

Found in Prayer News

Five Christians have been executed by an Islamist group after they were kidnapped on Christmas Eve from their village in Nigeria’s northeastern Adamawa state. The…

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Two Prayer Requests from Nigeria

04th Jan 2021

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Although Christmas is a time of joyous celebrations for Christians around the world, it can also be a time of hardship for our persecuted family.…

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Faith communities provide comfort and security amidst Nigerian violence

05th Oct 2020

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Amidst violent activity, local faith communities continue to play an important role in restoring security in Nigeria. According to Amnesty International, at least 1,126 people…

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Rose lost her husband and her livelihood, but never her faith.

22nd Sep 2020

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COVID-19 lockdown has stopped daily life in Africa. But violent persecution hasn’t stopped. And neither will Open Doors’ courageous church partners. When Rose said goodbye…

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“Time for the Nigerian government to take responsibility for violence”

28th Aug 2020

Found in Prayer News

Joel Amadi is a Nigerian singer who lost his father on July 24. His father was among 10 people killed in an attack from suspected Fulani militants. “I am…

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UN day commemorating victims of religious persecution

22nd Aug 2020

Found in Prayer News

Aug 22nd is the UN Day commemorating victims of violence based on religion or belief.   This year’s International Day for religious freedom, 22 August, highlights how…

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Violence continues against Nigerian Christians

05th Aug 2020

Found in Podcast

Christians in Nigeria face high levels of violence for their faith. In this episode, we talk with a colleague who works with our Sub-Saharan Africa…

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The impact of Boko Haram violence on one church

28th Jul 2020

Found in Prayer News

Nigeria: How one church lost more than 8,000 members to Boko Haram A church denomination in northeast Nigeria says Boko Haram has killed more than…

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Aisha receives help and comfort from you

30th Jun 2020

Found in Prayer News

The comfort and help Aisha received from you is extending to her family and community.   Two years ago, Aisha’s community was attacked by Fulani…

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Pray for Sub-Saharan Africa

31st Jan 2020

Found in Prayer News

A three-day call of prayer for Nigeria and an update about an upsurge of violence against Christians in Burkina Faso Seeking God’s intervention for Nigeria…

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Update: Rev Lawan Andimi Executed by Boko Haram

22nd Jan 2020

Found in Prayer News

It is with great sadness that we report that Reverend Lawan Andimi, the Adamawa state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has been…

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Crushed but not Defeated

03rd Dec 2019

Found in Prayer News

Reverend Marcus Abana is a pastor in a city in Adamawa State of northern Nigeria. His community suffered devastating attacks by Boko Haram: churches were…

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Leah is Alive!

06th Sep 2019

Found in Prayer News

The Nigerian presidential team confirmed that Leah is alive. Many of you have been faithfully praying for Leah Sharibu since she was taken by Boko Haram in…

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Christians in Nigeria pray for their Presidential Elections

15th Feb 2019

Found in Prayer News

Nigeria’s presidential elections take place tomorrow, and Nigerian Christians are praying that their new leader will keep them safe from violent persecution.   Muhammadu Buhari,…

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Schools in Nigeria bring hope

04th Sep 2018

Found in Prayer News

What is common with five of the Sharia states in northern Nigeria? Apart from severe hostility to Christians living there, the states of Katsina, Kano,…

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Vital Help to Displaced Christians in Jos Fulani attacks

03rd Jul 2018

Found in Prayer News

Over the weekend of June 23 and 24, suspected Fulani herders went on a killing spree in villages around Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, murdering as…

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