Nigerian Brethren ecumenical leader executed by Boko Haram

Jan 27, 2020 by

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A Nigerian Church of the Brethren district secretary and ecumenical leader was executed by Boko Haram militants on Jan. 20, Church of the Brethren officials confirmed Jan. 21.

Lawan Andimi served Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) as district secretary for the Michika area and was chair of the Christian Association of Nigeria for the Michika area.

Andimi was reported missing Jan. 3 after an attack on Michika by Boko Haram. His abduction gained international attention when his captors released a video in which he professed his Christian faith.

The Cable, a Nigerian news outlet, quoted Andimi’s statement in the hostage video: “I have never been discouraged, because all conditions that one finds himself . . . is in the hand of God.”

Andimi was one of several captives of Boko Haram and factions of the Islamic State executed since December. According to reporting from Ahmad Salkida in Christianity Today, a Nigerian soldier was killed along with Andimi. Eleven Christian captives in Borno State were beheaded on Christmas Eve. Four abducted aid workers of the international nongovernmental organization Action Against Hunger were killed in December.

Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele sent an email to EYN president Joel S. Billi expressing sympathy on behalf of the Church of the Breth­ren.

“While I cannot fully know the deep pain and grief that you, his family and EYN are feeling at this time, my heart is with you,” Steele said. “Please know that we are holding all of you in our prayers, praying through our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you mercy and peace.

“May God continue to grant you strength to sustain you in your leadership of EYN during this most difficult time. And may you draw comfort from the One who said, ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens.’ ”

A statement from the Christian Association of Nigeria said “the entire CAN leadership and the Nigerian church are deeply saddened” and called for effective action by the Nigerian government.

“The church views the unabated kidnappings, extortions and killings of Christians and innocent Nigerians as shameful to the government that each time boasts that it has conquered insurgency,” the CAN statement said. “It is reprehensible and saddening that each time the government comes out to claim the defeat of the insurgency, more killings of our people are committed. . . .

“We are almost losing hope in government’s ability to protect Nigerians, especially Christians who have become endangered species under its watch. We once again call on the international community and developed world like the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Israel and others to please come to the aid of Nigeria, especially the Nigerian church, so that we might not be eliminated one by one.”


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