Crosswalk.com aims to offer the most compelling biblically-based content to Christians on their walk with Jesus. Crosswalk.com is your online destination for all areas of Christian Living – faith, family, fun, and community. Each category is further divided into areas important to you and your Christian faith including Bible study, daily devotions, marriage, parenting, movie reviews, music, news, and more.

Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Morning Star News Nigeria Correspondent

Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world

JOS, Nigeria, April 8, 2020 (Morning Star News) – People displaced by Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacks in Kaduna state, Nigeria that killed 60 Christians in March are in dire need of relief aid, a community leader said.

“We have a chronicle of the humongous losses suffered by these law-abiding Christians in the hands of herdsmen trying to forcefully eject them and occupy their lands while the government watches on,” Luka Binniyat, spokesman for the Southern Kaduna People's Union (SOKAPU), said in a statement. “These wanton cruelties on these native Christian communities have been ongoing without let-up since Jan. 6 with great casualties in human lives and material loses.”

Binniyat said the attacks have forced women, children and the elderly to run into the wilderness to escape rampaging herdsmen, adding to the thousands displaced by previous violence.

“Kugosi and Kajari communities have been deserted, with scores of Christian villagers wandering in the bush with no food or water,” he said. “We therefore, call on all well-meaning individuals, groups and corporate entities to come to the aid of these displaced persons. They are in dire need of food, medical attention and temporary shelter.”

Binniyat said the killings occurred in Chikun and Jema’a counties.

At least 25 Christians were killed in March 31 herdsmen attacks on three communities, while 11 others were killed in another village, he said. Among the slain were six Christians in Guruku village; three Chrisitans in Kuduru village – Hassana Bala, Jamilu Hassan and Halima Bala – and Haliru Nawela and Kure Dogonyaro were also injured during the attack, according to Binniyat.

The herdsmen attacked Jagindi village on March 30, killing two Christians, Musa Barde and his brother Danlami Barde, he said. On March 26, herdsmen killed three Christians in Kuduru village.

“This is aside from three others killed in Kugosi and Kajari villages,” he said.

In text-messages to Morning Star News, residents confirmed attacks on eight predominantly Christian communities during the period: Guruku, Kuduru, Kugosi, Kajari, Unguwar Dorowa, Bakira, Manini, and Katarma villages.

“On March 25, three Christians were killed by Fulani terrorists at 11:54 p.m. in Adara villages of Unguwar Dorowa and Bakira, Maro ward, in Kajuru,” area resident Ishaya Onnusim told Morning Star News by text message. “Many other Christians were also seriously injured during the attack.”

Binniyat added that on March 18 in Chikun County, herdsmen killed three Christians in the Kugosi and Kajari communities.

“On March 17, the herdsmen came on motorcycles around 8 p.m. and started shooting at anything at sight” in Manini village, Chikun County, Binniyat said. They killed two Christians, 50-year-old Markus Danjuma and Sharana Danjuma, 42, he said.

“And on March 16, three Christians were killed in Katarma village, in Chikun Local Government Area. In three days, within that period at least seven Christians were killed by these herdsmen.”

On Jan. 30 Christian Solidarity International (CSI) issued a genocide warning for Nigeria, calling on the Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council to take action. CSI issued the call in response to “a rising tide of violence directed against Nigerian Christians and others classified as ‘infidels’ by Islamist militants in the country’s north and middle belt regions.’”

Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution but second in the number of Christians killed for their faith, behind Pakistan.

If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit http://morningstarnews.org/resources/aid-agencies/ for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved.

If you or your organization would like to help enable Morning Star News to continue raising awareness of persecuted Christians worldwide with original-content reporting, please consider collaborating at https://morningstarnews.org/donate/?

Article originally published by Morning Star News. Used with permission.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Zhaojiankang

A church in Oklahoma has helped to feed over 50,000 families who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to CBN News, Victory Church in Tulsa partnered with small businesses in the area to feed the families.

“Thousands fed, hundreds saved, THIS IS A MOVE!!!” Victory Church Pastor Paul Daugherty wrote on Twitter. God is turning what the enemy meant for evil into something good in Tulsa- so many praise reports coming in! HUGE SHOUT OUT to the DREAM TEAM that’s been rotating in serving our city during this time.

“Thank u to everyone who’s donated to help these meals and groceries happen!”

Daugherty said many of the small businesses the church is working with sacrificed their salary to pay for the groceries.

"And 53,000 hot meals and groceries to people who are laid off from work or reduced in their hours," Daugherty explained. "They’re saying 'if you guys weren’t open, we don’t know where we would go right now.’”

Victory Church is offering drive-in church services on the weekends with Daugherty preaching from the church’s rooftop.

"The mission of our church and every church is: love God, love people, and desperate times call for desperate measures," he said. "We started doing our drive-in services and started seeing so many unchurched people come on our parking lot in desperation and they are getting help and they're getting hope."

The church was able to receive permission from local and state governments to operate despite the restrictions set in place because of the pandemic.

"I called our mayor, chief of police and the governor and said we are helping thousands of people and I think you don't want to stop this. They said, 'you're absolutely right...you guys are an essential business and what you're doing for the poor in our city is what our world needs right now,'" he said.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Prostock Studio


Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

HYDERABAD, India, April 7, 2020 (Morning Star News) – A young mother and her two children were staring at her husband as he lay unconscious after a mob of 60 villagers in eastern India had stormed their home and beaten him with wooden sticks.

“The children and I tried to wake him up – we thought he had fainted – but there was no response,” Bhimeshwari Sodi told Morning Star News. “We cried out for help, but there was nobody to help us. The neighbors said that he was dead.”

The animist mob, worshippers of the gods of their tribal religion, beat 30-year-old Kama Sodi unconscious in Odisha state’s Kodalmetla village, Malkangiri District on the morning of March 12, she said. They had first attacked him the night before, surrounding his house as he, his wife and children were praying as they would before bed, Bhimeshwari Sodi said.

Before the attack that night, the hard-line animists had shouted at the family that they would kill them, she said.

“I was able to protect my two small children from their beatings, but my husband was in their clutches,” the 26-year-old Sodi said. “They were beating him very brutally.”

Her children are ages 3 and 6. Sodi pleaded with the assailants to stop and cried for help, but they continued beating him, vowing that they would kill him, she said.

“Even while suffering in their hands, my husband refused to give up his faith,” Sodi told Morning Star News. “They declared that they would allow a chance for him to live if he declared that he had renounced Christ. But my husband declined their offer and chose to suffer.”

During the second attack the morning of March 12, she screamed at the assailants that he would die if they didn’t stop, she said.

“They had beaten him very badly once again,” Sodi said. “They went on until they were sure that he shattered on the floor and stopped responding.”

The assailants threw the family’s food grains and belongings outside and told them to leave the village, she said.

Christian leaders arrived to find Sodi still lying unconscious, area pastor Timuthiyus Elijah told Morning Star News.

“The children and his wife sat around him weeping,” Pastor Elijah said.

Pastors from Erbanpally’s New Bethesda Jesus Christ Tribal Ministries arranged for Kama Sodi to be taken to Malkangiri Government Hospital, he said.

Doctors told Bhimeshwari Sodi that her husband had suffered severe blows to the head and had fallen into a coma, and that they were unsure when he would regain consciousness, she said.

“By God’s grace, he regained consciousness after nearly one and a half days,” she told Morning Star News. “But the doctors insisted that he must be hospitalized for at least a week.”

Doctors told her he had blood clots in his brain, would need extra care at home and should not return to work until he fully recovered, she said. Sodi said she spent her last 2,000 rupees (US$26) on medicines and enough food to feed the children for the week they spent at the hospital.

She had hoped to work extra hours at others’ fields to sustain the family while he recovered, but soon after his release from the hospital, the government announced a lockdown on March 22 to contain the novel coronavirus, she said.

“By the time we reached home, most of our belongings which the assailants had thrown outside our home were missing,” Sodi said. “Mud had piled up on food grains they threw out.”

The small plot of land yields 20 to 30 bags of food grains, and what they are unable to sell they store as food for the remainder of the year, she said. Now those grains are gone, and villagers are ostracizing them economically, she said.

“Nobody wants to offer us work, and we are happy with whatever God provides us,” Sodi said. “I’m washing the mud off the few food grains I could gather from the floor and am cooking them for the children. My husband and I are having whatever leftovers there are once a day. The rest of the time, we would prefer to starve. If the children eat and go to sleep, we would be contented in that.”

Village women try to stop her from drawing water at the common bore-well, she said.

“They throw my pots aside and fill theirs first,” Sodi said. “Yet I would stand there patiently for all of them to draw water. The women would look at me, spit and turn their faces aside when I pass by. They hate us.”

A representative of legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom India has urged high police officials to investigate the attacks impartially.

Shunned

Though socially and economically ostracized, the family remains at their home in Bhimeshwari Sodi’s ancestral village.

“My husband and I close the doors and pray quietly; we are not afraid of tomorrow,” Sodi said. “We are socially banished from this village and have been treated as untouchables. They do not allow us to even walk on the road, and they believe that if we walk on it, it would be defiled. But our Lord is with us. We are seeking comfort in spending time with Lord Jesus.”

Before coming to Christ, she had given birth to three children who died in infancy, she said.

“The relatives and kinsmen told us that the gods were angry with my husband and me, and that I had been cursed,” Sodi said. “After a while, my husband also fell sick and was bed-ridden. The tribal religious heads told us that he would not survive. But the Lord saved him.”

Kama Sodi heard the gospel from an area pastor and immediately put his faith in Christ, she said.

“He started sharing with me also about Jesus Christ, and I had also put my belief in Him,” Sodi told Morning Star News. “We prayed for God to bless us with a child and take away our shame. God blessed us with two lovely children.”

Pastor Elijah said that Kama Sodi was sharing about Christ with other kinsmen, and three families became Christian, upsetting the villagers.

“They had opposed us for conducting worship in Kodelmetla village, and even today the village does not have a church,” he said. “The three Christian families travel about nine miles (15 kilometers) to the church in Erbanpally.”

Bhimeshwari Sodi said that just as villagers have had discouraging words for her in the past, they told her she had lost her husband when he was beaten unconscious.

“But I have put faith in Lord Jesus,” she said. “I have no money or food to feed my children, but I have Jesus, and He will provide for us.”

India is ranked 10th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. The country was 31st in 2013, but its position has worsened since Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014.

If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit http://morningstarnews.org/resources/aid-agencies/ for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved.

If you or your organization would like to help enable Morning Star News to continue raising awareness of persecuted Christians worldwide with original-content reporting, please consider collaborating at https://morningstarnews.org/donate/?

Article originally published by Morning Star News. Used with permission.

Photo courtesy: Pixabay

Follow Crosswalk.com