Many an eyebrow is raised when we in America see the government shut down churches because of COVID, or when homosexual activists and their government advocates try to restrict religious frees speech, or when big-tech conspires to censure religious expression. We say it’s persecution; the end of days is near. But there is actual persecution occurring around the world where much worse is thrust upon Christ followers—China raids houses, puts Christians in prison. Islamic countries hunt down Christians, torture them, rape them. These people are not wringing their hands about doctrinal issues. They are ambassadors of Christ, modern-day martyrs. In Africa, our ministry regularly faces these persecutors.
On May 21 in Nigeria, Fulani herdsmen killed a missionary, a pastor and his three-year old son. Two days later, the Fulani, part of the Boko Haram terrorist network, killed 22 Christians. According to Persecution International Christian Concern, “The Fulani Militia is the fourth deadliest terror group in the world and has surpassed Boko Haram as the greatest threat to Nigerian Christians.” The threat is not just to Nigerian believers. Daily Jot ministry partner, Pastor William Agbeti writes: “Fulani herdsmen residing in and travelling across Ghana, from Nigeria, in search of green pastures for their cattle, remain a major challenge to the nation and people of Ghana. Death, bloody confrontation, destruction of farms and properties, pollution of water bodies, rape, robbery, rampant theft and open disregard for authority, follow their trail wherever they go.
“In Bosuafise where we have a physical presence of our ministry, the Fulani have set up a permanent camp, from where they launch out into neighboring villages with their cattle, destroying crops and degrading land. On April 25, 2021, in another village in the Oti Region of Ghana, there was a fatal clash between the villagers and Fulani herdsmen. The villagers woke up to find the herdsmen were driving their cattle through their farms, causing considerable damage to their crops. A scuffle ensued, five persons sustained serious injuries, leading to the death of one of the herdsmen and the burning down of two motorbikes owned by the herdsmen. On several occasions, our volunteers have chanced upon Fulani herdsmen in several villages on their free foodstuffs distribution rounds.
“These herdsmen block the only main roads with their cattle, and you have to sit patiently in your car for them to move at their own convenience. Any attempts at confronting or engaging them in arguments can easily lead to a blood bath. The Fulani herdsmen are a thorn in the flesh of the Government and people of Ghana. It seems to be a perennial challenge defying solutions.” As you can see from Pastor Agbeti’s testimony, persecution is more than censorship or temporary restrictions. Many Christians around the world are being persecuted with their lives in the balance. All of us on the front lines ask for one thing: your prayers. Because we know the truth of what is written in James 5:16, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Having done that, we need to stand. Otherwise we will face the same here on our own land.