What Happens After The Crisis Relief In Nigeria?

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Image: Church members gather to work on reconstruction of their destroyed church in Mubi
By Beth Westwood | 25 August 2017

Nigeria is in the middle of the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. The widespread famine is caused by war that broke out when Boko Haram tried to take over the country.

Open Doors recently embarked on our most expansive relief operation in Nigeria yet, to feed 15,000 Christian families - around 75,000 people, affected by Boko Haram. The food is expected to last them up to three months. 

But What Happens Afterwards? 

Our regional research team assessed the situation for Christians in the northeast and learned that rehabilitation is crucial in returning Christians to their homelands. This needs to happen if the church wants to continue to be a light in the volatile region. 

Open Doors have been serving persecuted Christians in northern Nigeria since the late 1980s, through partnerships with the local church. During those initial years we delivered Bibles. In the early 2000s we began development programs and since 2014 we have been training the church on how to respond to persecution biblically, and how to effectively serve their community.

Because of your support, 15,000 families affected by Boko Haram violence are now able to receive food for the next three months. But what happens next?

After visiting 35 villages, interviewing church leaders and representatives from several NGOs we were given a bleak picture of the reality Christians face back home. Many would be confronted with the destruction of their properties and churches, unimaginable trauma, food insecurity and limited access to water, sanitation and health care.

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Image: Destroyed church in Mubi, Adamawa State

But despite this, many Christians say their faith has grown. 

And even more so, they have come out the other side with a desire to reach their Muslim neighbours with the love of God. Many testimonies are already beginning to emerge of Muslims coming to know Jesus.

Christians in Nigeria are living on the frontline. They have a key role to play in seeing the countries take the next step towards rehabilitation. If they were to leave, Islam’s spread to the south might be far more unconstrained. We have to help Christians get back on their feet again and strengthen the hands of those who remain committed to building the Kingdom.

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