Nigeria is the most violent country in the world to follow Jesus.


“I am pleading with our dear brothers and sisters in Christ to help me pray that God will encourage my children to hold on to Him and never turn back."

– Pastor Zachariah


Sources of persecution
Islamic Oppression
Christian population
President Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu

What’s Life Like For Christians?

More believers are killed for their faith in Nigeria each year than everywhere else in the world combined. The attacks are often brutal in nature and can involve destruction of properties, abductions for ransom, sexual violence, and death. Believers are stripped of their livelihoods and driven from their homes, leaving a trail of grief and trauma. 

Violence by Islamic extremist groups such as Fulani extremists, Boko Haram, and ISWAP (Islamic State in West African Province) increased during the presidency of Muhammadu Buhari, putting Nigeria at the epicentre of targeted violence against the church.

The rise of Islamic extremism occurs against the backdrop of climate change, environmental degradation, and population growth, pushing Fulani herdsmen—whose origins are pastoral and Islamic—and their cattle southwards. This is creating tensions with other farmers, including Christians. Among the Fulani are extremists who have turned disputes into something far more sinister, with attacks being driven by ethnic and religious ties.

Christians living in the Sharia (Islamic law) states of northern Nigeria can also face discrimination and oppression as second-class citizens. Converts from Islam often experience rejection from their own families and pressure to renounce their new faith.

Who Is Most Vulnerable To Persecution?

The persecution of believers is most common in the conversative Islamic northern states, where the small pockets of Christian communities in rural areas are particularly vulnerable to violent attacks. However, attacks are increasingly spreading southward, to where the majority of Nigeria’s Christians live.

Raids by extremist groups have terrorised Christian communities, and women have been kidnapped, forced into marriage or sexual slavery, and killed.


– That victims of violence and their families will find healing and hope in Jesus.

– For peace, stability, and safety in the areas where extremists attack with impunity.

– For Open Doors’ partners helping displaced Christians with trauma care and healing.

What Does Open Doors Do To Help?

Open Doors works through local church partners in Nigeria to strengthen Christians with discipleship and persecution survival training, trauma care, relief aid, and economic empowerment projects.

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