United States officials have announced that terrorist group Boko Haram is planning to attack the Nigerian capital of Abuja. Boko Haram has been quite active in the country, killing innocent people in order to achieve its goal of imposing Sharia law throughout Nigeria.
"The U.S. Embassy has received information that Boko Haram may be planning attacks in Abuja, Nigeria, including against hotels frequently visited by Westerners," a warning on the Embassy's website stated. "The Nigerian government is aware of the threat and is actively implementing security measures."
Boko Haram was behind an attack on Easter Sunday that killed 36 people.
"The blast shattered windows of nearby churches and business premises. Many vehicles were also destroyed. It was a big bomb because it created a huge hole in the ground," Kaduna resident Malam Zakari told the Nigerian Tribune.
The sect is responsible for over 900 deaths already this year, according to the Associated Press. Though there has been an offer to meet with Boko Haram leaders and form a truce, no talks have happened.
"The big challenge is how do you overcome evil with good biblically and non-violently?" Open Doors Senior Communications Specials Paul Estabrooks told The Christian Post. "It's obviously deliberate when on Christmas Day and on Easter Sunday you have these violent attacks against churches and Christians. It's not coincidental."
He asked not only for prayers, and hopes for Christians in the area to become the peacemakers, as they are called to do by the Bible.
"As we ask for prayer for Nigeria, a specific prayer request would be that Christians in Nigeria learn how to respond to these challenges neither passively – turn the other cheek and not doing anything – or violently," Estabrooks explained. "There is a third way, and that is what is called 'just peacemaking.'"
The United States has offered its support for Nigerians as they work to cease the violence. It remains to be seen whether its warning of a planned attack will be effective in the battle against Boko Haram.