Written by: INcontext International
Article source: www.incontextinternational.org

“Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always.” (1 Chronicles 16:11)

What Is Happening?
On Sunday 5 June, gunmen entered a Catholic church in Ondo state, southwestern Nigeria, opening fire on worshippers and detonating explosives. Authorities say at least 50 worshippers gathering on Pentecost Sunday at St Francis Catholic Church were killed, including many children. The presiding priest, who represents the Owo area in Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber, was said to have been abducted as well. It is unclear who is behind the attack.

Nigeria has been plagued by multiple security issues, including terrorism, a rise in mob violence, kidnap-for-ransom, impunity, and a lack of confidence in the security and judicial services. However, Ondo is considered one of the country’s most peaceful states, apart from rising violent conflict between farmers and herders.

Why Is This Important?
Some see the attack as an indication that violence is spreading to areas generally considered safer in the southwest. The south is also predominantly Christian, while Muslims form a majority in the north, where Christians face the most persecution.

As many believers may be unsettled and anxious over the increasing violence in the country that is threatening to steal their peace and joy, the global Church can pray that believers would find their peace and hope in Christ. May believers facing danger and distress testify as in Psalms 119:114 that “You [God] are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word.”

• for Nigeria to effectively address the many security issues it has struggled to combat
• for the Lord to comfort those who have lost loved ones or suffered injury and trauma in the attack
• for believers to find peace and hope in Christ instead of insecurity, fear, and bitterness in their circumstances

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Date published: 10/06/2022
Feature image: Image for illustrative purposes only. Artwork adapted from pixabay.com

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