Conflict in Nigeria Claims at Least 80 Lives
Since Dec. 31, violent clashes between cattle herders and farmers in the central Nigerian state of Benue have claimed the lives of at least 80 people and displaced 80,000 more. The conflict escalated after the state governor introduced a law forbidding nomadic herders from moving through the state—an effort to encourage ranching and to prevent bloody land disputes with farmers. Compounding the conflict are religion and ethnicity: the herders are mostly Muslim Fulani, whereas the farmers are Christians from other ethnic groups. People fear similar violence in the state of Taraba, where the same law is expected to be enforced this month. The Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria is asking for prayer that President Muhammadu Buhari will enforce the rule of law and protect Christians from attacks.
God, for our family in Nigeria we offer prayers for protection and justice. We pray that people, regardless of their ethnicity or religion, would find ways to survive and thrive free from violence. We pray for pastors, imams, and politicians to lead in ways that engender peace and justice, that are free from bias, and that protect the dignity and flourishing of all, including “the other.”