A pastor was murdered and his wife kidnapped in Nigeria
Armed assaulters attacked and murdered Joshua Amako Maraya of the 'Evangelical Church Winning All' on the 17th of November. His wife was taken hostage.
The spokesman of the Church, Reverend Romanus Ebenwokodi, confirmed that the pastor had been killed by “bandits”. Reverend Maraya’s nephew said his uncle was “brutally killed in his house.” He also asked the congregation to pray for the late pastor and his kidnapped wife: “Pray for us and his wife who is still in the hands of her captors”.
Pastor Ebenwokodi said in a press statement: “We solicit your prayers for the safe return of the wife and comfort to the family and ECWA, Damakasuwa District Church Council.”
Wisdom Christopher, a member of the congregation, shared the following: “We, the members of the church, are in deep pain over the killing of our dear father, uncle, brother and friend. Reverend Maraya always encouraged us to preach the Gospel with courage and without reservation. He said, ‘The message of the Gospel is for Jesus, so don’t fail to preach it because of fear. Preach it, whether they like it or not, deliver it.’ He was a father, mentor and friend to us. Please Pray for the wife’s rescue, the comfort of his family, and that of the church.”
According to Yohanna Gandu, a Kauru Local Government Council member, Reverend Maraya was “a gallant soldier for Jesus Christ. We pray for God’s intervention and quick release of the wife. Our thoughts and prayers are with the church and family in this time of sorrow. We pray that the Lord will uphold His church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against her.”
Based on figures from Open Doors UK, Nigeria is one of the primary countries where Christians have been killed for their faith. It is also one of the leading countries for abduction, sexual assault, harassment, forced marriages, physical and mental abuse. The report emphasizes the severity of the situation: “Militants from the Fulani, Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and others conduct raids on Christian communities, killing, maiming, raping and kidnapping for ransom or sexual slavery. This year has also seen this violence spill over into the Christian-majority south of the nation… Nigeria’s government continues to deny this is religious persecution, so violations of Christians’ rights are carried out with impunity.”