In this issue of the newsletter:
New: Working on Capitol Hill to stop the killing of Christians in Nigeria
Update: Our orphanage is an Island of mercy in a sea of hatred.
Update: Children begin the move into Jos Christian Refuge for Children
Update: Christmas for Refugees funding lags – Trusting the Lord for success
Working on Capital Hill to Stop Killings in Nigeria
Killings grow worse daily: I was one of several leaders of groups concerned with religious freedom that signed a letter to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken asking that Nigeria once again be designated a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) regarding religious freedom.
Other organizations signing the letter included Christian Solidarity International, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Genocide Watch, International Christian Concern, Jubilee Campaign USA and several others. In all, more than twenty major organizations signed onto the letter to Blinken.
In the letter we outlined the increase in violence against Christians after President Biden ordered the removal the CPC status from Nigeria:
After the still unexplained removal of Nigeria’s CPC designation in November 2021, both the general level of violence and specific targeting of Christians increased. Open Doors found more Christians killed in Nigeria in 2021—4,650—than in all other countries in the world combined. The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law views the trend for 2022 as on-track to surpass that number, with no fewer than 2,543 Christians killed in jihadist-related violence in the first half of 2022.
We pointed out in the letter that “Blasphemy laws” in northern states where Sharia Law has been codified have increased the violence:
These blasphemy laws have contributed to a culture of mob violence that exploded in 2022. Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu, a Christian college student in Sokoto, was stoned and beaten to death by her classmates and her body burned, just because she thanked Jesus for helping her pass an exam. Local police authorities did little to stop the attack once it had begun.
The killing just does not stop, and the Biden Administration refuses to condemn the behavior of the Nigerian government which allows violence against religious minorities. Far from it, the Nigerian regime has received the friendship of the White House!
Under the Trump Administration the Nigerian regime was designated with CPC status. During that time, while there was much protest by the Nigerian government, violence was reduced. The violence against religious minorities increased instantly with the removal of CPC status by President Biden.
On average, one Christian is killed because of their faith every seven hours in Nigeria. Many Christian children become orphans because of targeted killings.
An Island of Mercy in a sea of hatred: the Jos Christian Refuge for Children (JCR4C) is truly an island of mercy in this sea of Islamic hatred. The children are always smiling, always happy, even in the cramped temporary quarters we rented in Jos. Why?
There are 10,000,000 orphans in Nigeria … Yes, ten million. Most are Muslim. About 2.3 million were made orphans because their parents have AIDS or died of AIDS. One in every ten homes in Nigeria are caring for an orphan.
I have visited other orphanages in Nigeria. Often, dirty mattresses lie on the floor and the rooms stink of mold. There are no educational facilities, and many that are government funded don’t have the ability to serve hot meals.
The orphans in the government funded orphanages are either Muslim or have come from families that worship pagan type deities. If we could bring them to Christian orphanages, they would be able to find the peace that comes from a relationship with Jesus.
I really wish I could take every supporter of the Religious Freedom Coalition with me to Nigeria to visit our orphanage and see the lives our kids live and the joy they have in their relationship with the Lord.
I don’t know how many of Nigeria’s ten million orphans are Christians, but I know our orphanage has to turn away many because we just don’t have a place for them.
If I could, I would build more orphanages just like Jos Christian Refuge for Children. If I could, I would provide a home for every orphaned Christian child.
Please pray for God’s direction for me and for this ministry. Please pray for a miracle that would allow our ministry to care for even more orphaned Christian children — and for those who are lost, that they could find fullness in their lives through a relationship with Jesus.
The children have moved in: On October 1st, 2022, the children moved from the temporary site to the all-new Jos Christian Refuge for Children!
The situation is not yet ideal, and some buildings are still under construction. The children understand the significance of the move. They know they are now in a place that is a home. They know they have a place to grow and learn in. This is their home and their school.
I really wanted to be there the day the children moved in, but I could not justify the expense because every dollar sent for the orphanage was needed to complete construction. I am praying that my wife Nancy and I can visit with the children in January or February of next year.
Pure joy: The pictures I received from our orphanage director tell a story of pure joy on the faces of the children, both the very young and the older teenagers as well. They know they will not have to move again, that they will be with their friends until they graduate.
Unlike in many places they could be, here they will sleep in real beds on new mattresses and eat meals with protein on a daily basis. And there are new sanitation facilities and showers.
Most important … At our orphanage Jesus is the center of daily life. All students attend daily chapel and there is study of the Bible. All children now have their own copy of the Bible.
JCR4C is part of our Heart for the Persecuted Church missions outreach.
The all-new Jos Christian Refuge for Children is complete! Children now have a safe place to call home after Fulani Herdsmen burned the original location down last year, destroying all personal belongings and the children’s sense of security along with it.
Children officially moved into JCR4C on October 1st. These images were taken before their arrival in order to document the completion of the buildings. Images of the children moving in will be included in the next newsletter!
Christmas for Refugees 2022
Fund raising down: Funding for the Christmas programs is well behind, and I have been unable to transfer funds according to our schedules.
Is the funding really down, or is there a Satanic attack on our Christmas program again this year? The attacks in 2021 were brutal but the Lord protected and provided!
Last year just before the Christmas events were to begin, our office was flooded and there was so much damage that it was unusable for two weeks.
During the time our office was flooded the Post Office had a mysterious hold on our inbound mail. For three weeks we received no mailed in donations.
The Post Office finally discovered the error but then could not locate several trays of our mail that should have been delivered to us.
Through all the turmoil the Lord provided!
All the Christmas for Refugees programs went on as scheduled although some gifts to families were delayed.
We can do it again this year, regardless of the challenges, but I need your help!
Lebanon is our biggest challenge!
Tens of thousands of Christians have been forced to flee Syria. One-fourth of Lebanon’s population are refugees, and the Lebanese currency is in crisis. Help is needed.
In Nigeria my prayer was to add two more smaller Christian orphanages to the Christmas for Refugees program. Please pray that despite current problems we will prevail!
Christmas Matching Gift will help: To carry out all planned programs this year the budget was $390,000. Inflation will now push us past that amount. We can still make it with the Christmas Matching Gift Fund. The matching gift funding is urgently needed, and I ask anyone planning on helping to please send their gift as early as possible so it can be doubled.
Christian refugee children are at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to receiving aid from the UN, the EU or USAID. Our Christmas programs help the children and their families, and also lift their spirits.
Our Christmas programs deliver something that no UN, EU or USAID program will deliver. We deliver the affirmation of the love of Jesus Christ for His church. We bring them the joy of Christmas and the knowledge of Salvation through Jesus Christ.
The matching gift fund limit has not been reached! Please pray about helping the children of the Middle East and Nigeria have a true Christmas this year.
William J. Murray, President