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Church Leaders Declare August 23 Collective Prayer Day over Insecurity in Nigeria

Logo Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)

Concerned about the rising cases of insecurity in the West African nation of Nigeria, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has declared August 23 a day to offer collective prayers, seeking God’s intervention for the people of God in Africa’s most populous nation.

In an August 13 collective statement obtained by ACI Africa, the members of CAN urge churches in Nigeria to set aside at least 15 minutes to offer the special prayers.

“Please be informed that there will be a collective prayer session at least 15 minutes, for Nigeria on the 23rd August, 2020,” the Church leaders have announced in their collective statement signed by CAN General Secretary, Daramola Joseph Bade.

CAN is the largest ecumenical body in the West African nation bringing together the Christian Council of Nigeria, the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, the Organization of African Instituted Churches, and the Evangelical Church Winning All/Fellowship of Churches of Christ in Nigeria.

August 23 as a prayer day “was borne out of the insecurities in Nigeria. All churches in Nigeria are to adhere to full compliance of this prayer,” CAN leadership says in the August 13 statement and adds, “The aim is to tell God in one accord, to have His way and do His Will in Nigeria.”

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There have been a number of militant attacks in the last several months including kidnappings and murder that seem to target Christians.

In January, 18-year-old seminarian, Michael Nnadi, who had been kidnapped alongside three other seminarians from their Good Shepherd Major Seminary in Kaduna State was murdered.

The southern part of Kaduna State has also been experiencing violence since January with media reports indicating that 43 people were killed between July 21 to 24. A total of 178 people have lost their lives since the violence started. 

“Since the beginning of the year, CAN has consistently called on churches in Nigeria to embark on a joint offering of special prayers within a specific period of time and dates, to seek divine intervention on the insecurity challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic which has crippled activities since the beginning of 2020,” CAN members recall.

Last week, the Catholic Bishops in Nigeria announced a 40-day prayer period during which God’s intervention will be sought for an end to the security crisis that has been described as “genocide”.

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“To all Catholics, we request that you join in praying, one Our Father, three Hail Marys, and one Glory Be to the Father every day after the Angelus for forty days, starting from 22 August 2020 and ending 30 September 2020, the eve of Nigeria's Independence Day,” the members of the  Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) said in their August 8 statement shared with ACI Africa.

They add, “On Independence Day, let us join in praying the five decades of the sorrowful mysteries starting from 12 noon.”