Friday, December 14, 2012

Open Doors to Release Worst Persecutors List Jan. 8 at D.C. Press Conference

Compelling 'The Insanity of God' Book to Be Introduced during Event

SANTA ANA, Calif., Dec. 10, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Open Doors will release its 2013 World Watch List of 50 countries that are the worst persecutors of Christians on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, during a press conference in Washington, D.C.

The press conference will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. at the National Press Club, First Amendment Lounge, 529 14th St. NW.

"The annual World Watch List has raised awareness of the plight of persecuted Christians for many years," says Open Doors USA interim President/CEO Steve Ridgway. "It is important to get this information out to the public so it can look beyond the headlines and be a voice for those who are often voiceless in places such as North Korea, Syria, Egypt and Nigeria. For instance, there are 50,000 to 70,000 Christians out of an estimated 200,000 political prisoners inside the North Korean gulags."

For the past 10 years, the hermit communist country of North Korea has topped the list. Last year Afghanistan was No. 2 followed by Saudi Arabia. Rounding out the top 10 were Somalia, Iran, Maldives, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Iraq and Pakistan.

Expert speakers at the press conference include veteran journalist Ron Boyd-MacMillan, chief strategy officer for Open Doors International, and Nik Ripken, author of the inspirational new book "The Insanity of God" (B&H Books, 2013). Both Boyd-MacMillan and Ripken have traveled worldwide to meet with those persecuted for their faith. For more information on "The Insanity of God," go There will be opportunity for media members to ask Boyd-MacMillan and Ripken questions regarding persecution.

The World Watch List ranks countries according to the intensity of persecution Christians face for actively pursuing their faith. It is compiled from Open Doors' indigenous contacts, field workers and persecuted believers based on answers to questions covering various aspects of religious freedom.

For more information regarding the World Watch list press conference and requests for interviews, please contact Open Doors USA Media Relations Director Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email

An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world's most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our Website at
Christian Newswire

Stand with Persecuted Believers – Give Them ‘Gifts of Hope’ this Christmas

For Immediate Release
Open Doors USA
Contact: Jerry Dykstra
Director of Media Relations
Tel. 616-915-4117
SANTA ANA, CA (ANS) -- As many Christians in the West are preparing to go to their safe, warm churches to celebrate the birth of Christ and sing Christmas carols, beleaguered Syrian Christian refugees in Lebanon are wondering how they will survive the brutal winter weather.

“We came from Homs,” said a Syrian believer as he held his baby girl in his arms. “We fled from Homs because of daily fighting and shooting. When we left, our house was still intact, now we don’t know if it is still there.”
With temperatures falling below freezing, refugees are now living in make-shift tents instead of the homes they once lived in with their families.

Believers from Syria and other countries where Christians are persecuted are coping with all the hardships that come with persecution, rather than being able to enjoy the Christmas season with their fellow Christians and families.

However, the gifts from the Gift of Hope Catalogue from Open Doors USA can help bring joy to these believers. There are numerous life-changing gifts that can be given to a persecuted Christian. By supplying a survival pack for a destitute believer, people can provide a believer in need with food, medicine and other basic necessities – all for just $9.

“We are so thankful for your help with food, clothing, toiletries and now school fees for our children,” says one persecuted widow. “You really put a smile on my face and on the face of my children.”

There are various other gift options to meet the multiple needs facing persecuted Christians this Christmas. Gift No. 6 in the Gifts of Hope Catalogue provides a teenager with his or her own youth Bible for $19. Gift No. 17 helps provide a safe house for a persecuted believer for $75.

Other options in the catalog include supporting an orphan, training a church leader for a month, encouraging an isolated Christian woman through satellite television, providing vocational and literacy training and help with rebuilding a damaged church. There are 27 possible gift selections.

“Whether you put a Bible in someone’s hands, train a struggling pastor, help somebody learn to read the Bible or provide practical help for a martyr’s family, you will find there are many gifts you can provide to bring hope where faith costs the most,” says Open Doors founder Brother Andrew. “While life can be painful and unjust, your gift sends this message: ‘You are not alone. You are loved and remembered by me.’ Your gift will give them hope.”

These Gifts of Hope can be given in honor of someone as well. Cards are available in a PDF format to give in someone’s honor and are available when giving a gift at

An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world's most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to
For more information or to set up an interview, contact Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email

Monday, December 10, 2012

Elderly Christian worker shot in Pakistan.

(Image courtesy Voice of the Martyrs Canada)

Pakistan (VCM/MNN) ―Pakistani police are investigating the shooting of a Christian worker in Lahore last Monday.

Voice of the Martyrs Canadacontacts confirm that Birgitta Almby, Area Director of Full Gospel Assemblies (FGA) in Lahore, Pakistan, was recuperating at Jinnah Hospital. They say Almby spent the week in critical condition after two unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire as she arrived home from work. 

Although the doctors were able to remove the bullet from her chest, the shooting caused considerable damage to the 70-year-old woman's lungs and jugular vein. On Friday, VOM Canada reported Dr. Ali Usman as saying, "We have kept her in the Intensive Care Unit, where her situation is precarious because of the excessive bleeding."

Almby was a familiar figure around the Christian community in Lahore. For 38 years, she served in Pakistan---some of that time with the FGA, which describes itself as a "church fellowship." The organization runs charities in Pakistan, including a technical training institute, an adult literacy center, and orphanages.

VOM Canada sources say while the investigation is in its early stages, Islamist extremists may be responsible for the attack. They've been increasingly targeting Christians in Pakistan, who are a beleaguered minority of about 2.5% in a country of 176.7 million, which is 96% Muslim.

However, despite the oppression, VOM Canada says Christian leaders have been reporting a steady but significant trickle of Muslims responding to the Gospel and joining churches.

As a marginalized community, many of their struggling fellow believers in Pakistan will be the recipients of VOM Canada's "Christmas Blessing" packages throughout the Christmas season. It's a source of encouragement at a time when it's becoming increasingly dangerous for followers of Christ to openly share their faith. 

VOM Canada asks for Christians to come alongside the Pakistani church in prayer. Ask God to intervene, not only sparing Birgitta's life, but also ministering complete healing to the areas wounded by the attack. 

Please also pray that He will bring much-needed peace and encouragement to her family and fellow Christian workers, as well as to all those in the community she so lovingly served. Pray that through this situation, people's hearts would open to the peace and love of Christ, and that communities would be transformed. 

ANNOUNCING: Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah speaks to Christians today

-- new book by Elizabeth Kendal available now on Amazon

By Elizabeth Kendal
Religious Liberty Monitoring 
Religious LIberty Prayer Bulletin
Special to ASSIST News Service

Book Cover
AUSTRALIA (ANS) -- Elizabeth Kendal's book, Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today , is now available on Amazon.

A website by the same name, Turn Back the Battle, will be up and running shortly.

A Kindle version of the book should be available by the end of the month.

There will be an Australian launch early next year, from which point the book will also be available through Australian Christian booksellers such as Koorong Books, United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) and others.

This book is an offering to the Lord. Please pray that God will take it and use it for the benefit of his Church and the glory of his name.


The product of nearly four years' labour, Turn Back the Battle arises out of Elizabeth Kendal's passionate interest in and growing concern for how persecuted Christians and their advocates respond to suffering, persecution and existential thr eat. The book is informed by Elizabeth's nearly15 years of service in the cause of international religious liberty and the persecuted Church.

In Turn Back the Battle, Kendal brings Isaiah 1 - 39 to life and applies it to the 21st Century Church. She juxtaposes Judah's situation in the latter part of the 8th Century BC with our own. For like our own times, the times in which Isaiah lived were times of immense regional volatility, soaring geo-political tensions and gross insecurity. Twice, Judah was invaded by hostile forces threatening occupation and regime change, death and captivity. Indeed it is the politically and militarily-charged context that makes Isaiah's call to trust the Lord so profoundly radical, incredibly challenging and hard to swallow.

But in Isaiah 7 - 39, God gives us not only theory, but precedent. For not only does he commission a prophet to instruct God's people on how they should respond to insecurity and existential threat, he provides a typological drama that illustrates the word and proves the point that God is alive and active in history. Through the historic narrative, which commences in 735 BC with the faithless King Ahaz and the Syro-Ephraimite war and concludes with King Hezekiah and the Assyrian invasion of 701 BC, God illustrates, consolidates and demonstrates everything Isaiah says through his advocacy and his oracles.

Each chapter concludes with a page of questions for personal contemplation or group discussion, as well as a carefully crafted prayer that applies the key lessons of the chapter.

A few selected quotes from the book:

In these darkening days of escalating persecution and insecurity, the church would do well to remember that real prayer is not only a critical and strategic element of the spiritual battle, real prayer is the highest form of advocacy and God's ordained means of unleashing the forces of heaven. (From chapter 5)

When Isaiah approached the political powers in Jerusalem, he always di d so as Yahweh's ambassador, as Yahweh's prophet, and never in the manner of a union representative. Isaiah presented Jerusalem's political powerbrokers with the clear and simple word of God. He invested no faith in kings or political players per se. Neither did he invest faith in the power of weapons or funds or influence or projects that these political powerbrokers had at their disposal. His faith was in the Lord alone. (From chapter 8)

Christians have a freedom the world can only dream of. Because our God is the living, loving, sovereign, saving and eternally faithful God, the Christian is never condemned to fate. Jerusalem was doomed before Hezekiah prayed. But Hezekiah's prayer changed everything. Hezekiah's prayer marks the moment the crown of the Lord of Hosts was put on and the battle was turned back at the gate (28:6). (From chapter 11)

Selected quotes from selected endorsements:

In 'Turn B ack the Battle' Isaiah's message comes through loud and clear. . . The lesson to be drawn for Christian work is not to rely on compromised human institutions to bring justice and freedom to a beleaguered humanity but to rely on God alone.
- Michael Nazir-Ali, former Bishop of Rochester and Director of the Oxford Centre for Training, Research, Advocacy and Dialogue

. . . Elizabeth Kendal puts the current awful outpouring of violence, aggression and terrorism against the Body of Christ in its biblical context. She shines the light of God's Word onto the pain, the anguish and the disdain that God's people suffer. This book will reinforce your confidence in God's commitment to liberate his people. It explains why we need to focus on him in our darkest hour . . .

- Timothy O. Olonade, Executive Secretary and CEO, Nigeria Evangelical Missions Association
'Turn Back the Battle' is a ti mely antidote against the belief that more activism . . . can substantially change the situation of persecuted Christians. Elizabeth Kendal's very readable book applies the message of Isaiah to believers today, to show that our faith must be in God alone, and our focus on obeying him before anything else. . .
- Jos M. Strengholt, Anglican priest in Cairo, Egypt
In this superbly written book, Elizabeth Kendal shows how the wisdom of the prophet Isaiah can equip today's Christians. It serves as a wake-up call for believers tempted by the attractions of an increasingly God-less world, and Christians living under oppression will draw great inspiration from it.

- Peter Riddell, Vice-Principal (Academic), and Dean of the Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths, Melbourne School of Theology

'Turn Back the Battle' is an outstandingly insightful book which exposes global threats to Chris tian faith, religious liberty and human rights. As the foundation of our civilisation is shaken, and the Church faces life-endangering challenges from within and without, it calls us to ask ourselves in what and in whom do we trust. It proclaims that our ultimate security rests in Christ alone. It invites readers to a radical faith in God. The message of this passionate and prophetically astute book should be heeded by all Christ's faithful witnesses in this the 21st Century.

- Albrecht Hauser, Mission Secretary and Canon of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Württemberg and a Trustee of the Barnabas Fund

Table of Contents:

     Introduction: You will have tribulation
        John 16:33 
1   Who will we trust?
       Isaiah 2:1-4:6 
2   Stand or stumble, the ch oice is yours
       Isaiah 7:1-13 
3   A paradigm for threatened Christians
       Isaiah 8:5-17 
4   Inquire of the Lord of Hosts
       Isaiah 9:13 
5   Forgetting God
       Isaiah 17:1-11 & 28:1-6
6   Yesterday's faith is not sufficient for today
        Isaiah 22:8-11 & 38-39 
7   Christian security: not in 'Man'
        Isaiah 22:15-25 
8   Christian security: not in the 'City of Man'
 &nb sp;     Isaiah 24-27 
9   Christian security: not in a 'covenant with death'
       Isaiah 28:9-22 
10 Christian security: not in practical atheism
       Isaiah 30-31 
11 'In whom do you now trust?'
        Isaiah 36-37 
12 Choose this day .
        Isaiah 34-35 
     Bibliography & Abbreviations

Elizabeth Kendal is an international religious liberty analyst and advocate and an Adjunct Research Fellow in the Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths at the Melbourne School of Theology. This article is an edited version of a posting written for her blog:Religious Liberty Monitoring .

War on global terror far from over

Story photo: Rev. Dr. Musa Asake,
General Secretary Christian Association of Nigeria.
(Images courtesy Christian Association of Nigeria)
Nigeria (MNN) ― A recent U.S. military briefing on the war on terror seemed to paint a rosy picture.

While the Pentagon's top lawyer was looking at a post al-Qaeda era, experts say entering into that planning stage is premature.

At first blush, it seemed that the rise of the Arab Spring brought more freedom as regimes changed. However, human rights watchdogs say what it really did was help al-Qaeda affiliates flourish.

Reports from religious rights groups indicate that the changes distracted from the numbers of radicalized training camps that mushroomed in the last decade. Recruiting efforts increased, and there is evidence to support a link between al-Qaeda and the Boko Haram (whose name means "Western education is sin" in Hausa).

Rev. Dr. Musa Asake, General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, shares the bigger picture of concern. 

"Once they get Nigeria, being the most-populous country in Africa: if Nigeria goes down, Africa goes down. That is their goal, and that is why they have connections in northern Mali. Some of them have friends there."

Mali's instability brings up another issue: the Boko Haram is beginning to represent a global threat with its militant connections not only to al Qaeda, but also to Somalia's al-Shabaab.

The group's leadership has set its sights on spreading its ideology across the region and into Europe. Since 1999, Muslim state leaders have imposed Sharia law in 12 northern states and parts of four others.

Their stated goal: to eradicate Christian presence from Nigeria. The sect says they'll stop their attacks only if the government implements Sharia law. As a result, the scale of persecution of Christians by Muslims has accelerated in Nigeria's northern states and as far south as the central plateau. The losses are staggering. As the death toll mounts into the thousands, Asake explains, "[sic] They continue to burn down our churches and kill innocent people. That is why we are crying out for the world to know, and seeking for whatever help can come, to help stop this thing."

Appeals to the Nigerian government for help yielded little in effective protection. Asake goes on to say, "We had hoped that this would go down, that they would be controlled; but they seem to be increasing by the day and spreading all over the northern states of the country. That's a concern to the Christians in the country."

As the attacks ramped up this year, the damage they inflicted was proof that the Boko Haram was better resourced and organized with outside help. Outraged, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) called for help. They're still encouraging Christians not to retaliate through violence, notes Asake. "Pastors continue to preach ‘We should wait upon the Lord, as difficult as it is', and ‘Vengeance is the Lord's.' So, we continue to preach that and continue to look for ways that this thing will go, without all the retaliation."

CAN intends on taking its case to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Last month, The Hague's prosecutor found reasonable evidence that the Boko Haram Islamists had committed "crimes against humanity." It was the first step in the right direction. Asake says, "Our attorneys are looking into that, and it's going to be soon, but we have not made a timeline." The CAN is also asking the Nigerian Federal Government to name Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist group.

If terrorists are bombing churches because they're opposed to the sharing of the story of Christ, what kind of impact does that have on Gospel work? Actually, says Asake, there are more people committing their lives to Christ. Groups like Open Doors USA agree, noting the "paradox of persecution." Former CEO Carl Moeller has said, "As extremism rages in people's hearts, it produces a deeper vacuum, and that vacuum can only be filled by Jesus. Sometimes they don't even know that, but Jesus is still moving in people's hearts, even in the midst of this violence."

Asake asks for believers to "pray that God will continue to see us through these difficult times. Pray for those that have lost their loved ones in this situation. Pray for the leadership of the church, that we would continue to focus on God's work and preach the message of love, even in these difficult times." 

Uzbek pastor released from Kazakhstan, in hiding

Uzbekistan (MNN) ―According to Open Doors USA, Uzbek pastor Makset Djabbarbergenov has been released from prison in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

He was reunited with his wife and four children when he was released on Tuesday and immediately taken to the airport. According to Forum 18, they were flown to Germany. After their arrival in Frankfurt, the family was taken to a safe location in an unnamed European country.

Makset's friends told Forum 18, "We need to thank the Kazakh government; they did the right thing."

The pastor was told by border guards that he was banned from re-entering Kazakhstan until 2017.

Pastor Makset's release and asylum in Europe was facilitated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Commissioner representatives met him on release from prison and took him directly to the airport. They were ensuring that there were no last minute problems.

Almost 3,800 supporters sent e-mails on behalf of Makset through an advocacy campaign by Open Doors.

Open Doors Advocacy Director Lindsay Vessey said, "We are incredibly grateful for Makset's release and thank all our supporters who advocated on his behalf by sending e-mails to the Kazakh ambassador to the United States."

"It is good to hear that the UNHCR played a critical role in securing his release as well as in ensuring Makset's safe departure from Kazakhstan with his family," she said.

Pastor Makset was arrested in Almaty on September 5 on the request of his native Uzbekistan. They wanted him to be returned to face charges that he practices religion outside state regulation.

He became a Christian in 2000 and soon became an active church leader in Nukus, the capital of Karakalpakstan. There is no Protestant church in Karakalpakstan that has an official registration, as they are considered illegal.

Pastor Makset was arrested six times. Following a police raid on his apartment in 2007, he and his family fled to Tashkent, the Uzbek capitol. He then crossed into Kazakhstan the following month. His family followed a few months later, according to Open Doors News.

He applied for asylum in Kazakhstan. Despite the fact that the commissioner for refugees said he would face prosecution in Uzbekistan because of his Christian faith, the Kazakh government ruled against Makset at several turns.

Finally he was arrested in September and held in prison, pending deportation.

His wife, Aigul, spoke to Open Doors during that time. "Pray that we can follow God, and He'll lead us to be where He wants us to be. We want Him to solve and resolve the situation and tell us what to do."

New Protestant Declaration Affirms Israel and Persecuted Christians

"This declaration is a refreshing alternative to the typical statements from oldline Protestant officials who blame Israel and Israel alone." -- Mark Tooley, IRD President

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Two persons with the Institute on Religion and Democracy were among the signers of a recent declaration from the Protestant Consultation on Israel and the Middle East (PCIME). IRD business manager Luke Moon and adjunct fellow Alan Wisdom joined 18 others who vowed to "stand with Israel and the Jewish people as we also stand with persecuted Christians and other minorities in the region." The declaration grew out of a November 5-8 meeting in Jerusalem bringing together leaders of pro-Israel groups in historic Protestant churches of Europe and North America.

"We are distressed to see how certain European and North American church officials approach the Israeli-Palestinian dispute as if it were a zero-sum game," PCIME declared. "They fall in line with the international campaign that purports to help the Palestinians by delegitimizing Israel. They target Israel alone for boycott, divestment, and sanctions. This approach is unjust, and it is unhelpful to the cause of peace."

The signers saw a connection between attacks on Israel and rising threats to Christian communities across the Middle East. "The forces that refuse to tolerate the existence of a Jewish state are fiercely intolerant of other religious and ethnic minorities," they noted.

Meanwhile, officials of 15 church groups that challenged U.S. military aid to Israel have responded to Jewish organizations that had cancelled a scheduled interfaith meeting in protest. A November letter from the 15 mostly oldline Protestant bodies expressed no regret over their original October 5 appeal demanding that U.S. support for the Jewish state be re-evaluated in light of "widespread Israeli human rights violations committed against Palestinians." Instead, the church officials accepted the Jewish groups' suggestion of an interfaith summit focused on disagreements about U.S. policy towards Israel. The 15 church groups include the United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Jewish groups include the American Jewish Committee, B'nai B'rith, and rabbinical councils from all major branches of Judaism.

IRD President Mark Tooley commented:
    "This new declaration from PCIME is a refreshing alternative to the typical statements from oldline Protestant officials who blame Israel and Israel alone. It reflects the fact that members of these historic Protestant churches take a much more balanced view of the Middle East than do their purported leaders.

    "Indeed, surveys show that most U.S. church members sympathize with Israel as a fellow democratic, pluralistic state that is under attack from violent Islamist movements. They know that these are the same intolerant movements that are making life increasingly perilous for Christian communities across the region. PCIME models how Christians might constructively address conflicts in the Middle East."
Christian Newswire

Kazakhstan Government "Did the Right Thing" by Allowing Wanted Uzbek Pastor to Leave

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

KAZAKHSTAN (ANS) -- Uzbek Protestant pastor Makset Djabbarbergenov has been released from prison in Kazakhstan's commercial capital of Almaty.

Kazakhstan is located in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

According to a story by Forum 18's Felix Corley, the release occurred on Dec. 4.

Forum 18 reported he was taken to the airport to be reunited with his wife and four children.

They boarded a flight for Germany in the early hours of December 5, arriving safely in Europe, his friends told Forum 18 News Service.

Facilitating the release and asylum in Europe was the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

According to Forum 18, Uzbekistan had been trying to extradite Djabbarbergenov on charges which carry a maximum 15 year prison term to punish him for leading an unregistered Protestant community.

His friends in Almaty told Forum 18, "We need to thank the Kazakh government. They did the right thing."

Forum 18 said meanwhile, the Kazakh government has insisted to the UN it has checked that none was tortured in prison in Uzbekistan.

However, that same government was condemned by the United Nations Committee Against Torture for sending back to Uzbekistan 29 Muslim asylum seekers who alleged they would face torture.

For more information about Forum 18 go to

Nine Christians Killed, Four Churches Burned in Nigeria

Boko Haram suspected in rampage in predominantly Christian area

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

LAGOS, NIGERIA (ANS) -- Nine Christians were killed and four Churches burned in two separate Dec. 1 attacks in northeast Nigeria by gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram Islamist group.

According to a story by Open Doors News Service, the Christians and a Muslim were killed in Kwaple village, Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State. The incident occurred when the Islamic group members went on rampage and burned 20 houses and a Church in the area, while three Churches were burned in Gamboru Ngala.

"I have just received a message from my people at Chibok and Gamboru Ngala that four of our Churches were attacked by the militants this morning and 10 people killed at Kwaple in Chibok LGA," the Borno State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Titus Pona, said in a text message to the association's president on Dec. 2.

According to Open Doors News, Nuhu Clark, a former Chibok local government area council chairman, said the attackers entered the village at about 9 p.m. Saturday, then torched houses before using guns and machetes to kill their victims.

"Most of the victims were buried today," Clark said on Sunday. "It is unfortunate that such could happen in such a peaceful village."

Open Doors News said according to Pona, the attackers burned The Church of the Brethren, Church of Christ in Nigeria, and Deeper Life Church Gamboru Ngala, and another Church of the Brethren in Chibok.

"It is clearly an attack on Christians by the Boko Haram members in a local government that is predominantly Christian," said a Christian leader in the region. He requested anonymity because churches had agreed that only the Christian Association of Nigeria chairman would speak to the press.

Open Doors News said the leader added, "The government is worried about the implication of this attack and is offering to support the rebuilding of the affected churches."

According to Open Doors News, the State governor met Monday with state and local officials of the Christian association, the local government area council, and community leaders. They determined how to support the affected families.

"The affected families will be compensated, though life cannot be paid for," Open Doros News reported the Christian leader said. "The attack by members of the Islamic group, who are apparently not from the community, was unjustified and we have the assurance of the government that necessary measures will be taken to prevent a reoccurrence."

Open Doors News reported that Sunday Oibe, spokesman for the northern group of the Christian Association of Nigeria, denounced the continued attacks on Christians, which he said were not getting enough attention from the government.

"What people get to hear is just a fraction of the attacks Christians are subjected to," Oibe said.

He added, "It is unfortunate that when the (Christian Association of Nigeria) president comments on the issue, they accuse him of not being sensitive or raising false alarm. We cannot continue to keep quiet in the face of provocative attacks like last Saturday's attack in Borno."

Open Doors News said Borno State is the headquarters of the Boko Haram group that has launched various terrorist attacks in the country, killing hundreds.

Open Doors News exists to raise awareness of Christians worldwide who are persecuted for their faith.

For more information go to