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Persecuted believer from Nigeria prayed through gunfire

January 19, 2024 by Abdias Paso in Persecuted Christians in Nigeria

It was Christmas Eve in the village of Lunghai and many of the villagers were preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus the following day. Men gathered animals for a feast while women prepared their homes for guests. It was a joyous time in the small community. Then gunshots broke out—seemingly from everywhere.

The men dropped what they were doing and ran for their homes. The women immediately began searching for their children. Smoke billowed as the attackers set houses on fire. It was a mad panic.

Then, in the midst of all the confusion and chaos, Reverend Rigat walked calmly to the church, holding his Bible. He was 75.

He knelt at the altar at the front of the church and prayed for God’s will to be done and for safety for all in the village.

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A local priest named Samuel saw the armed terrorists invade the church. In his eyewitness account, he says, “The terrorists entered the church and destroyed everything. They dragged Reverend Rigat from the altar and beat him. Then they set the church on fire, with the reverend inside.”

Samuel went on to say, “The reverend’s body was found after the attack, holding his Bible wrapped around his chest in a prayerful position.”

What a man of courage and prayer, and what a loss to the community in Lunghai. In Psalm 147:3, it says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” We pray God will touch the villagers in Lunghai, especially as they grieve the loss of Reverend Rigat. May they find a serene peace only known in Him.

Join us in prayer now for the survivors of the attack in Lunghai.

God, even though we grieve the loss of Reverend Rigat, we are in complete awe of his devotion to You: He could have run for his life, but instead he prayed for his church. May the members of his church be filled with strength and courage, the same strength and courage Reverend Rigat displayed. May their faith not be shaken through these attacks, but instead fortified. And may these terrorists across Nigeria—somehow, someway—come to know the love that is You. Work in their lives and bring home Your precious children. Amen.

About the authors
Abdias Paso and Tim Dustin write for Global Christian Relief where they share breaking news stories out of Nigeria and the rest of the world. Get the latest blogs and prayer requests at

Thousands are displaced in Nigeria following the Christmas attacks that killed over 175. They are in need of food, medical supplies, safe housing and more. A generous gift today can change their lives forever.

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