Sunday Massacre that Left 50 Dead Shocks Believers in Southwest Nigeria

UPDATE: Sunday’s attack on St Francis Catholic Church in the Nigerian town of Owo killed 22 people and injured 50, an official from the National Emergency Management Agency said on Tuesday. Previous reports said more than 50 people were killed.

Nigeria (MNN) — Shock follows Sunday’s bloodbath in southwest Nigeria. During mass, gunmen entered a Catholic church and started shooting, killing at least 50 and wounding dozens.

Attacks like these are common in the north but rare in Nigeria’s southern half. Docudramas about persecution in the early Church can help believers in the south as they face increasing oppression.

International Media Ministries’ Denise Godwin explains, “It’s extremely significant that they (believers in Nigeria) know they aren’t unique in Christian history to that kind of persecution; they’re not alone.”

Persecution vs. prosperity

So-called “prosperity gospel” is common in southern Nigeria, as it is in the United States. This style of preaching sees God as a means to an end; if Christians pray hard enough, God will grant them any material desires they might have. Prosperity gospel teaches that if a Christian does not have wealth, they must not be praying hard enough.

“In our lifestyle in the United States, we want quick, easy, and we don’t want any discomfort,” Godwin says.

The Bible presents a different message. Jesus said in Matthew 10, “You will be hated by all for My name’s sake.” Jesus also encouraged His followers with the secret to overcoming persecution in John 16:33, and the answer wasn’t health or wealth.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller

CALL TO ACTION

  • Ask the Lord to comfort survivors of this weekend’s attack. Pray believers will grow in their faith.
  • Pray God will give His wisdom to the IMM team wisdom as they develop resources for the local church.
  • Pray believers will find the “right” people to present information in IMM’s productions. Anyone taking part in a piece like this risks being identified and targeted by persecutors in the wider community.