Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Massacre while the globe is silent

Published:Monday | January 19, 2015 | 12:00 AMSteve Lyston
Satellite images shows the village of Doron Baga, Nigeria, before and after an attack by the Boko Haram
A child, at rear, walks through the scene of an explosion in a mobile phone market in Potiskum, Nigeria last week. Two female suicide bombers targeted the busy marketplace
Lyston
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According to Amnesty International, recent attacks in Baga, Nigeria, is reported as the deadliest attack in history. More than 2,000 victims have died, many of whom are women, children and the elderly. Presently, they have given up counting bodies.

According to reports, the town was shelled with rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on the peasants.

With the treatment of this massacre, it undoubtedly shows that the black life on the African continent is not as highly valued as other lives. What happened in France through the Charlie Hebdo attacks was circulated and commented on globally. There was a seemingly global outcry for the 17 people killed, but the slaughter of the more than 2,000 black lives was downplayed in the global media.

World leaders gathered to join 3.7 million in France to march against terrorism, yet the only gathering for those slaughtered in Nigeria through the same terrorism are those who make an outcry on social media.

It is easy to go to France - jump on a plane, stay in a fancy hotel and 'march'. But it is not so easy to go to Nigeria, because one would need to get shots, and that's just too much trouble for world leaders to go through, especially if the press is absent.

The Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations reported that last year more than 10,000 people were killed, and more than a million were displaced inside Nigeria by the same Boko Haram that took away the approximately 300 girls. Some of the young girls were strapped with bombs and instructed to run, and they then blew them up. Not much publicity was given to that.

Boko Haram (which means 'Western education is forbidden') is a fierce, violent group of radical and bloodthirsty Muslims. The official name of the group is Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'Awati Wal-Jihad, which when translated means 'People committed to the Prophet's teachings for propagation and jihad'. The Prophet here is Mohammad; and 'jihad' means 'a war or struggle against unbelievers' (of Islam) - which for the most part includes Christians, Jews and atheists.

The Church

Surprisingly, Nigeria has some of the largest and wealthiest churches in the world today, with famous preachers such as T.B. Joshua, Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, Pastor Chris Okotie and several more. This is similar to the situation in Jamaica, where we have the most churches per square mile than any other nation of the world. Yet, in light of all of the above, evil is so prevalent. Something is wrong.

Whenever you see such ineffectiveness with the Church in such places, it simply means that everyone is promoting their own agenda - similar to the American churches. As a result, there is no unity against the existing evils. The Church leaders must take back their identity because, as Christians, we must be the salt and the light for the world.

The entire continent of Africa has some of the greatest worshippers with their own unique sound and style of worship. They should never try to change that in order to suit Westerners and make it more 'palatable' for them. Each region has its unique sound and style of worship.

The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, who is said to be a Christian, has the greatest opportunity to show the world, as a Christian leader, how applying biblical principles can put a stop to the massacre that is taking place. The president of Nigeria must remember that in the scriptures, God always uses godly leaders to triumph when they follow Him, as they employ godly tactics and strategies.

Nigeria's military, as recorded by Global Firepower, is ranked as the four best military on the continent of Africa. They have an impressive officer training programme, and it is very difficult to make the grade for commission. They are fourth and Egypt is number one.

The Nigerian president must take courage, remembering that while some trust in chariots and some in horses, we as Christians must remember the name of the Lord our God, and that as we do it will bring victory. He must also remember II Kings 19 and II Chronicles 20, as well as Joel 1, 2 and Jonah 3: 5-10.

The president should gather all the churches on a three-day fast and (genuine) prayer for Nigeria and show the world how God can deliver. I guarantee that should he do so, God would raise up one of His own to assist him in bringing victory and peace to Nigeria.

The president should not be fearful, but instead remember that this is spiritual warfare, not natural warfare. Also, the global media and world leaders should come together for Nigeria.

n Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.