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03/01/2024 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – A church was attacked multiple times by Fulani militants in rural Nigeria, causing attendance to suffer. For many months, the church sat without a roof, but worshippers that gathered praised God in rain and shine.  

Many of the congregation relocated after the attacks due to fear. In June 2023, ICC interviewed the pastor, and he said, “We expect those who relocated to return. Surely, we all became afraid and fled, but we have rekindled hope and returned to our community fully. That is why the people attend the church.” 

And indeed, people have returned. ICC staff recently attended a worship service, and the pastor rejoiced in reporting that 70% of the original congregation had returned since ICC helped roof the church. More than 400 new or returned congregants now worship weekly with the church.  

“Thank you for assisting us roofing the church,” the pastor told ICC. “We were worshiping outside in the rain before, and sometimes under the sun, but thank God we have a good place to worship God comfortably. We danced and celebrated when the church was roofed.”  

In the one-thousand-capacity church auditorium that was burnt on Easter weekend in 2021 by Fulani militants, the pastor said that he appreciated ICC for coming to their aid to roof the burnt church. The church still has no windows or doors, and many women, children, and a few older adults sat among the stones to listen to the sermon.  

During the service, the pastor read from the book of Habakkuk 1:4 and encouraged Christians to shun all kinds of cultural practices that are evil and affecting the church today – especially the practice of witchcraft among Christians. The pastor prayed for ICC to continue the good works they are doing for the persecuted throughout Nigeria.  

A prominent community leader, who is also a member of the church, said, “Thank you for assisting us with roofing the church. Our communities faced multiple attacks because of our faith in Jesus, and we refused to give up on our faith. There are a lot of churches burnt by Fulani [militants] in Nigeria. Thank you for having concern for my church.”  

ICC staff also spoke at the service and encouraged the increased congregation not to give up their faith in Christ Jesus but to continue to trust in God. ICC hopes to rebuild the pastor’s home that was burned down in the attack, install windows and doors to the church, and provide chairs for the worshippers to serve all those attending services.

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