Cease-Fire in Nigeria?
February 12, 2013
Although it hasn't received a great deal of media coverage, late last month a Boko Haram commander spoke publicly about a cease-fire in the group's ongoing war with the Nigerian government.
It's too early to tell if this is a legitimate change in direction for the Nigerian-based radical Islamic group, and the Boko Haram commander who made the statements isn't the group's top leader. One of the principal demands of the cease-fire is the unconditional release of all Boko Haram members currently imprisoned in Nigeria, a demand the Nigerian government seems unlikely to meet.
Boko Haram (loosely translated as "Western education is a sin") has pushed for the adoption of Sharia law in northern Nigeria and has publicly stated that Christians in the area have three choices: leave, become Muslims or die.
Nigeria's leaders and military have viewed recent developments with guarded optimism; the military has said it will wait 30 days to see if attacks continue before deciding how serious Boko Haram is about a cease-fire. Meanwhile, the media have reported increased business activity and more people on the streets in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and "headquarters" of Boko Haram.
Please PRAY with Christians in Nigeria for lasting peace. Pray that Muslims there will be reached with the gospel and come to know Christ personally. And pray for God's protection of our Christian brothers and sisters, regardless of whether the cease-fire holds. If you'd like to contribute to support VOM's work in Nigeria and other Muslim nations, you can do so here.