How many Christians are there in Niger?
Numbering 62,200, Christians are a tiny minority in Niger; they make up just 0.3 per cent of the total population of 23.2 million people.
Why are Christians persecuted in Niger?
While the church has mostly enjoyed religious freedom in recent decades, the overwhelming Muslim majority and external extremist influences continue to push for Sharia Law to be adopted in Niger. Radical Islam is also on the rise. It is only recently that the church has become a particular target of militant Islamist groups, including the Izala group who originated in northern Nigeria. The justice system in the country is threatened by corruption, and those in authority who engage in corrupt practices are not adequately prosecuted.
What’s life like for Christians in Niger?
In border regions under Islamist control, Christians have been hindered from celebrating Christian weddings. Due to the threat of violence from militant groups, church worship has to be conducted with caution. Christians from a Muslim background often face threats and violence from family members who try to make them renounce their faith. Believers face discrimination economically, and when it comes to jobs; they are rarely able to secure employment within local government services and are frequently denied promotion. Christians have occasionally been hindered from gathering for meetings and the legal process for the registration of churches is long and difficult.
How can I help Christians in Niger?
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Niger. Your gifts and prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
- Every £20 could provide a widow with a loan to buy seeds so that she can start farming and become self-sufficient
Open Doors, through local partners and churches, is strengthening Christians in Niger through persecution-preparedness training, church leadership training and literacy and discipleship programmes.
Is it getting harder to be a Christian in Niger?
Yes. The increasing pressure and violence coming from jihadists in the Sahel region means that it is becoming more dangerous to practise the Christian faith in Niger in safety.
Lord Jesus, please protect our brothers and sisters in Niger who are facing violence and oppression for choosing to follow You. May their light and example shine bright and draw many to Yourself. Help believers to find their joy, their peace and their hope in You, and reveal Your love and Your mercy to those bent on hate and destruction.