Serving Persecuted Christians Worldwide - Update: Four of 20 people kidnapped in January attacks released - Open Doors UK & Ireland
15 February 2022

Update: Four of 20 people kidnapped in January attacks released

Your prayers continue to be urgently needed following two attacks by Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) in Chibok, Nigeria, in January. 

Nineteen girls and a man were kidnapped by ISWAP, who also killed several people and destroyed churches and other buildings in two separate incidents in January 2022 (image is illustrative)

In January, 20 people were kidnapped by Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) in two separate incidents in Chibok, Nigeria. 

In positive news, the four girls kidnapped in the first incident on 15 January have been released. However, the 16 people (15 girls, one man) taken six days later remain missing. 

Praise God that four of the girls have been released. Ask the Lord to comfort and heal them. Please keep praying for the imminent and safe release of all those still held captive in Nigeria. 

27 January 2022

Prayer needed for kidnapped Nigerians

On 21 January, Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) attacked Piyemi village in Chibok, Nigeria. Several people were killed and 16 people (15 girls and one male) kidnapped. A church was destroyed and shops and houses looted. The attack was confirmed by Ahmed Jaha, whose area of representation on the Federal House of Representatives includes Chibok.

A week earlier, on 15 January, ISWAP attacked the village of Kautikari. Three people were killed and four girls kidnapped. Two churches were destroyed.

Terrorists are becoming more sophisticated

“As the Boko Haram insurgents continue to surrender in their thousands, the ISWAP terrorists become more sophisticated, deadly and continue to increase in numbers," says Professor Babagana Zulum, Borno State Governor, speaking to members of the Senate Committee. "The ISWAP fighters are more sophisticated, educated, armed and brutal than the Boko Haram terrorists. As such, their operations are becoming more pronounced around the southern and extreme northern parts of Borno State. 

“It is an early warning for us as a government to understand the working system of the ISWAP. They have been carrying out attacks in the southern and core northern part of Borno State. ISWAP have checkpoints between Damboa and Biu. They are collecting taxes from communities in these areas.

It is not yet known if any ransom has been demanded for the kidnapped girls. The story is, of course, sadly familiar to the parents and families of more than a hundred Chibok girls who are still missing after being abducted by Islamic militants Boko Haram in April 2014. The town where this abduction occurred is only about 20km from the two villages where these recent kidnappings took place.

Nigeria is number seven on the Open Doors World Watch List 2022 - rising two places since last year.

Please pray
  • For the safe and imminent release of all held captive, and healing for those hurting
  • That Christians in Chibok will have courage, strength and hope amidst suffering
  • For the government as they seek to effectively address escalating insecurity across Nigeria.
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