NIGERIA — Living in Plateau State in the middle band of Nigeria, Rose is in one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a Christian. Nigeria is number 12 on Open Doors World Watch List, but it’s at the top of the list for Christians murdered because of their faith.
And on 7 April 2020, tragically, Rose’s husband Matthew was killed by Fulani militants.
Right at this time, another crisis came. The Nigerian government announced lockdowns to curb the spread of Covid 19. Life became even more difficult. Like many people, Rose lost any opportunity she had to make money to buy food.
As has been seen in other countries, Christians are often last in line when government food and aid is distributed – often deliberately neglected by local authorities. Rose was no exception to this discrimination.
“The life of a man is like a flower of a field.”
“Fulani people attacked our community and my husband was killed. It happened on the 7th of April 2020. My name is Rose Matthew. I got married to my husband and God blessed us with two daughters. The third baby is in my womb. My husband served as the pastor of a church in this village of Nbra Zongo.”
Extremist attacks on Christians have continued in Nigeria and other African countries during lockdown.
“Village came to me and brought me to the place where it happened. I saw my husband lying dead with the grave already dug. While we were waiting for the coffin to be brought, I plucked up the courage to hug him. I whispered a prayer to him and then we had to leave that place.”
Then the Nigerian government announced lockdowns to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Severe hunger came and we had no food. There was no money to buy any food. We couldn’t trade anything for money, because the markets were closed.”
Christians are now facing starvation and discrimination.
“We were happy when the government also announced food aid for the poor. But we were left out. We received none of that food. Our hopes were dashed and I decided to ration the food that we had left until help comes. Sometimes we go to sleep without any food. I only put my trust in God to see me through.”
Read more news on Nigeria, Disaster Relief and the COVID-19 Pandemic.
GFA’s Statement About Coronavirus
About Open Doors UK
Open Doors is a non-denominational mission that supports persecuted Christians in over 70 countries where Christianity is socially or legally discouraged or oppressed. In their work they provide vital support, training and resources to those facing persecution or discrimination.
Resources that they provide include distributing Bibles and literature, running leadership training, assisting with socio-economic development and intercessory prayer. They also help victims of violence and disaster, including widows and orphans, with practical support such as relief aid, livelihood support and community development projects.
Their vision is of a world in which every Christian who is persecuted is remembered and supported by other Christians. They pray for a world where there is no persecution.
- Global News Alliance, Nigerian Widow Last in Line for COVID 19 Food Aid
- Open Doors UK, Official Website