Evangelist Franklin Graham is calling attention to the persecution that Nigerian Christians are facing. He says that Nigerians "feel like the rest of the world is turning a deaf ear to their cries."
Christians in the African country have been under steady attack over the last few weeks, shattering peace efforts by the government and religious leaders. In an online post, Graham says that "Thousands of Christians have died just since January."
In the last week of August, 20 people were killed in an attack by local Muslims, including a pastor and his family. Rev. Adamu Wurim Gyang and his three sons were set on fire "and burned beyond recognition," according to Graham's statement. Gyang's wife was shot and left to die.
"Their plight should break our hearts"
Graham says that in that attack over 14 people were killed, and "95 houses were burned down, and farm crops that were ready for harvest were destroyed."
The majority of attacks is reportedly from Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram radicals.
Boko Haram radicals kidnapped 100 girls from a school this February, and one young girl, Leah Sharibu, remains in their custody.
In an online video a Nigerian Christian leader, Femi Fani-Kayode, makes an impassioned plea for help while standing next to the body of a killed believer.
“America, please stand for us. We are dying," Fani-Kayode says in the video. "Please, allow us to survive. We have nobody. Only God in heaven can stand for us…Please, please, I’m begging you stand for the helpless.”
Graham is calling the Church to pray for Nigerian Christians. "These are families just like ours—their plight should break our hearts. Please lift them up in prayer and ask your church to do the same."