Persecution Road

The Boko Haram terrorist organization and, more specifically, Fulani nomadic tribesmen, are Islamic terrorists that roam through Nigeria and other countries, including our ministry outreach host, Ghana. Their goal is ethnic cleansing of Christians while raping the land of its resources. This is what makes the mission work of The Daily Jot and our partner ministry in Ghana so dangerous. These incidents of terrorism occur in the very rural areas where neither church nor government wish to enter, yet the people who are poor, underserved, and unarmed are often at the mercy of these militants who seek to kill, steal and destroy all who resist them. I know, I have had first-hand experience with this.

On December 7, the US State Department designated Nigeria as part of its list of Countries of Particular Concern for “engaging in or tolerating systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.” Nigeria is the origination point for Boko Haram and many Fulani. Pastor William Agbeti, our ministry partner in Ghana, reports: “The newest fear amongst many in Ghana today is that, as the US has designated Nigeria in particular and many other countries as worst religious freedom violators, and global attention is turned on them to curtail atrocities, there is likely going to be a spill-over of Fulani activities into Ghana. The Fulanis resident in Ghana and their migrating counterparts from Nigeria, have become a thorny issue bordering on national security in Ghana.

“They are the untouchables. No one dares to stop them in their quest to find grazing land for their cattle. Any attempt to resist them is likely to turn into bloodshed, maiming, destruction of properties, rape, armed attacks and what have you. Disaster, destruction, killings and mayhem follow their trail. They destroy vast farmlands with careless abandon. They kill innocent natives who come between them and their animals. They are known to engage themselves in armed robbery, rapes and organized attacks on people. Also, the whole development has become murkier, with resident Fulanis claiming citizenship by birth in Ghana, per the constitution of the country.” Ghana is one of those countries that severely restricts firearm ownership. Which is a living example of how the criminal element is enabled to prey on the weak.

This is where our ministry operates—in those poor areas where the Islamists bully and sometimes kill those who stand in their way. In addition to running cattle, Islamists literally take farmland they don’t own—using heavy machinery to scoop up topsoil and haul it away for sale in faraway places. They disrupt our church services, and threaten our pastors. Through the heroic efforts of Pastor Agbeti and his brave band of volunteers we persist, encouraging the saints in rural areas with clothing, clean water and food. 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” And they do. A persecution road extends from Nigeria through Ghana. Some of us stand in it. Many may say, “Why don’t authorities put an end to this?” Rural Ghanaians may ask the same about Antifa in Portland. That’s how it starts.

Bill Wilson