Pastor and Family Live Despite Dastardly Attack

Nigerian Pastor
A police officer stands guard outside the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Nigeria's capital Abuja in June. Nigeria has been plagued with civil unrest recently between Christians and Muslims, including an attack on a pastor on his family in Ekillisiyar Yan’Uwa. (Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters)

A pastor supported by the Voice of the Martyrs survived an attack by Muslim extremists on Aug. 10, according to VOM contacts. At least seven gunmen entered an Ekillisiyar Yan’Uwa Nigeria (EYN) church compound in Borno state, intending to kill the pastor, his wife and three children.

One gunman entered the room of the pastor’s 24-year-old son, but “God gave him the courage and strength to push the man down,” VOM contacts said. The young man was shot in the leg and fell to the ground as he fled his attacker.

The pastor ran from the family’s house when he heard the gunshots, only to see his son lying on the ground and gunmen shooting at him. Although the pastor was not hit, he also fell to the ground when the gunmen fired at him. Thinking both men were either dead or injured, the gunmen entered the house to search for the church key.

After confronting the pastor’s wife and two other children, the gunmen ordered them to lie face down on the floor. The family remained in the house as the attackers set fire to the house and church. The woman and her children eventually escaped the fire and hid in bushes near the church.

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Apparently satisfied with the burning buildings and persuaded that the pastor and his family were dead or seriously injured, the gunmen fired their guns into the air while shouting, “Allahu Akbar.” As the attackers left the scene, they unknowingly passed right by the pastor and his family hiding in the bushes.

The family remained in hiding through the night and took the oldest son to a hospital in Maiduguri the next morning. He has been released from the hospital, and the family is staying with another pastor in Maiduguri.

A police officer stands guard outside the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Nigeria's capital Abuja in June. Nigeria has been plagued with civil unrest recently between Christians and Muslims, including an attack on a pastor on his family in Ekillisiyar Yan’Uwa.

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