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Nigeria: Ten new medical clinics bring life-saving care to Christians
07 April 2017
Ten medical clinics created with the support of Open Doors are providing thousands of persecuted Christians in northern Nigeria with vital medical aid. Christians in this region often have to travel great distances in search of medical help at clinics in Muslim-majority areas, where they are often denied help if they are not willing to convert to Islam.
One of the clinics has been set up in Boi, a Christian community in Tafawa Balewa. It is run by the local church with supported from Open Doors. Four years ago, Christians in this area had little or no access to social amenities like health clinics. The nearest clinic for Christians was very run-down, with no plans from the government to upgrade it.
Emmanuel Tumi, a Christian from Boi, explained: "The government is trying by all means to frustrate Christianity in the north by denying Christians basic social amenities.
"The reason this clinic was put up here is because there have been a series of attacks in Tafawa Balewa town. Attacks on farms, attacks on roads, attacks by Fulani Muslims, attacks by Boko Haram... all just because we are Christians. And every time there was an attack, it was very difficult to get treatment because some were injured, and carrying them to the hospital was very, very difficult. When Open Doors saw our suffering, they decided to put up a clinic in this area.
"This clinic is not only helping the people who were attacked, but it is helping the people of more than 20 communities," he adds.
Manasseh, a pastor, said, "This clinic has had a big impact in our community. Last year three of my children were down (sick) and I brought them to this clinic. They admitted us here and we received very good help. Without this clinic I think we would have suffered a lot because we would have to travel to a very far place.
"The news of the good service rendered here has gone very far, and that is why people from very far places travel here. The love of Christ is shown towards me and my family when we come here. Through this clinic, I am also reminded that God makes a way where there seems to be no way."
'A great blessing to all'
Work on the clinic in Boi began in 2014, but just last year, clinics were opened with support from Open Doors is Baban Udawa, Kaduna State, and Para-Gassi in Borno State.
The work takes place over two years: first the construction, then the furnishing with beds, laboratory equipment and a grant towards medicine stock. Throughout the process, Open Doors works with the local church to closely monitor the clinics to make sure they function well. In 2017, Open Doors plans to spend over £100,000 on clinics.
The clinics will treat anyone who comes to them, Muslim or Christian, but they are set up in Christian communities to ensure that Christians have access to medical care, as they are often poorly served and frequently face discrimination from clinics in Muslim-majority areas.
In Yantama, a remote village that is often cut off during the rainy season, a new clinic has made a huge difference. "God must be praised for this wonderful gift to the community," said a local Christian. "A clinic in this community is a great blessing to all, both Christians and Muslims . We have all suffered so much in this area with our health. That's why we can't describe with words the importance of what you have done for us. We only pray that God will reward you for this great work. Thank you so much."
STAND WITH YOUR CHURCH FAMILY IN NIGERIA
Nigeria is number 12 on the 2017 Open Doors World Watch List. Christians are in the minority in northern Nigeria, and have faced discrimination for years in the 12 northern states where Sharia (Islamic law) has been implemented; they are frequently denied access to community resources, such as clean water, health clinics and higher education. Christians have also faced violent persecution at the hands of Islamic fundamentalist groups Boko Haram and Hausa-Fulani herdsmen.
Alongside medical clinics, Open Doors partners with the local church in Nigeria to provide emergency aid, training, scholarships for children, community development projects, legal assistance and trauma counselling.
- Pray. Use the prayer points below.
- Give. Every £60 can provide emergency food aid to a family in Nigeria for six weeks, to help them simply survive.
- Speak out. Raise your voice for our persecuted church family in Nigeria. Write to the Nigerian High Commission and ask the Nigerian government to do more for persecuted believers.
- Praise God for these clinics, and ask God to bless them and work through them
- For protection and provision for Christians in northern Nigeria
- That God will change the hearts of those in northern Nigeria who discriminate against Christians.
More News from Nigeria:
- 12 killed in Easter Sunday attack
- Over 200 Chibok girls still missing three years after abduction
- 50,000 Christians strengthened through radio
- At least 15 killed in Fulani herdsmen strikes
- Displaced twice by Boko Haram, Rebecca now helps over 2,000 widows and orphans
Find out more about persecution in Nigeria.