International Christian Concern | August 17, 2020
Many structures in Nigeria are made with simple clay bricks, including many of the country’s homes and churches. In Kangbro and Marish villages, the clay bricks of their churches were crumbling.
The rainy season in Nigeria lasts up to four months, giving life to the plains and the farmers’ crops. However, these same rains destroy the exposed walls of the ECWA Church in Kangbro and the Anglican Church’s pastorium in Marish.
Both the church and the pastorium bore the scars of the persecution.
On the morning of June 17, 2019, 400 Fulani militants descended on Kangbro, armed and deadly. Four people were killed, 73 houses were burned, and the church that held the community together was damaged beyond the community’s ability to repair. The residents of Kangbro fled their homes, abandoning everything except their lives.
Fulani militants destroyed several other neighboring villages in the months that followed. On the evening of January 8, 2020, Marish village was similarly attacked. Two farmers, Abednego and Clinton, died at the hands of the militants while traveling home from their farms. Surrounded, in every direction, the villagers faced gunfire. Twelve men were killed, and three others were wounded. Police only arrived four hours after the initial call for help.
“In my position as clergy, this is devastating,” Pastor Daniel, from Marish, told ICC. “Members of my church were killed. Some who survived are now scared to live here and have gone to some other village. It has impacted the local church. The way we used to be is no longer so.”
“It’s not easy for me,” Pastor Daniel continued. “Whenever I remember this attack, my heart is grieved and troubled.”
Traumatized, homeless, and starving, there was little hope felt by these two persecuted communities. In response, International Christian Concern (ICC) stepped in to provide emergency aid to both villages.
ICC assisted by repairing the ECWA Church in Kangbro and the Anglican Church in Marish. ICC also provided aid to the families displaced by the attacks.
The objective of both projects was to practically demonstrate Christian solidarity, to restore regular worship activities in both communities, and to show the love of Christ to the persecuted. The families of Kangbro and Marish now can worship and find shelter in their newly repaired churches, bringing a lot of hope and stability to these communities who have been so severely persecuted.
“I am thankful because God is there.” Pastor Daniel told ICC after the pastorium in Marish was repaired. “He is my refuge, He is my helper, and He is the one who sustains us. He is the one who would teach us how we would continue to live in this village. We have no other protection but Him.”