To “lie in wait” for someone drums up the idea of a subversive plan, a premeditated attack, a calculated ambush. To lie in wait; to patiently observe, to dispassionately, or maybe even passionately, conjure up a strategic course of action against a decided, yet innocent foe; is nothing short of indictable. Yet, this is exactly what is happening to Nigerian Christians on a current and daily basis.
Since 2015, over fifty-thousand defenseless, unsuspecting Christians in Nigeria have been slaughtered for their faith in Christ. Nigerian government officials have tried to practice an outdated form of “yellow journalism” in stating that the attacks are not religiously motivated; that they are mere “herder-farmer” conflicts. If this were true, which it is not, then Nigeria needs to explain how these “herders” and “farmers” have strategically attacked and demolished eighteen-thousand Christian churches and 2,200 Christian schools since 2015.
This western African country, where Islam reigns supreme, should be obligated to disclose why, within the first few months of 2023, over one-thousand Christians have been brutally and mercilessly slaughtered. Furthermore, the government must expound upon, and give a justification for, the jarring fact that in 2022, 90% of the Christians killed globally were from Nigeria.
Needless to say, this is not a “herder-farmer” conflict, unless the herder-farmer population in Nigeria is comprised of bionic, herculean and superhuman herders and farmers. Nigerian Christians are not being displaced and uprooted because of some generational conflict steeped in agronomy and nomadism. Villages are not being ravaged and children are not being orphaned in the wake of an age-old conflict grounded in agrarianism. Herders and farmers are not the problem. Islam is the problem.
Islam is the catalyst for the rising death toll of Christians within this magnificent African nation. In fact, it is no mere coincidence that persecution of Nigerian Christians increased exponentially when President Muhhamdu, a fanatical Christian who, in 2011, stated that he wished Nigeria would implement Sharia Law, came to power. This national leader’s influence, coupled with his promotion of Sharia law and unwavering adherence to the fundamental religious practicalities detailed throughout the Qur’an, is the problem. This is the impetus; the motivation behind the increased persecution of Nigeria’s Christian population, as presented below in Surah 9:5 of the Qur’an:
“But when the sacred months expire, slay those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity wherever you find them; seize them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them. But if they repent and establish the Prayer and pay Zakah, leave them alone. Surely Allah is All-Forgiving, Ever-Merciful,” (Surah 9:5, Tafheem-ul-Quran).
Nigerian Christians, the segment of Christians who are statistically now the most persecuted followers of Jesus Christ in the world, need our help, need our prayers and need our voice. We can no longer be silent, or pretend it isn’t happening, or “hope” that someone else will take the reins and become a proactive spiritual warfare combatant against these Nigerian Christians’ attackers, persecutors, and assaulters who “lie in wait.”
Please pray that the Lord place a hedge of protection around our Nigerian brothers- and sisters-in-Christ. Please pray that in the name, in the power, and in the authority of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, all demonic and Islamic spirits that are infiltrating this blessed nation be utterly destroyed.