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Soldiers celebrate Holy Communion, fighting Boko Haram

West & Central Africa

Soldiers celebrate Holy Communion, fighting Boko Haram

Christian Soldiers fighting the Boko Haram radical Islamic terrorist group in the decade old campaign, in north eastern Nigeria, say they have remained firm and resolute in their faith in Jesus Christ because, “in this fight and in this region, there is no guarantee of survival, anytime we engage or are on patrol, except God protects you, you may not live to see the next day,” a Chaplain fighting in the battle front in Borno told Global Christian News. “Many times, they have better weapons than us and can monitor un with drones. We… (He hesitates as he thinks) Look this is about what God is doing among us keeping us alive and not what we have or don’t have,” the Chaplain whose name and posting we reserve for security reason, said.

“As a Pastor, I have buried hundreds of my friends and colleagues since my posting to Borno State and I have prayed with my fellow soldiers all the time in the battle field and with those that have been severely injured, both physically and emotionally, by the insurgency. Many of them, their lives will never be the same again,” the Pastor said, sitting in his combat military uniform with a gun that looked worn and well used, and the tales of war in his face. 

“Every day, you need Christ to both see you through each day and for the strength to defeat the evil that is before you, otherwise, if you don’t stand against this evil, it may grow and eventually consume your people and who knows, your immediate family too,” the Chaplain said.

Screen-grab of online phone video of soldiers during Eucharist

video, circulating in the social media, shows a group of soldier, all carrying their guns and kneeling in an open area covered with shrubs, celebrating the Eucharist. The video shows the soldier singing a popular Nigerian chorus Jesus is King, “Jesus Igwe!” A Catholic chaplain then stands to offer the soldiers the communion as they knelt in the dry dust.

In the video, the paradox of Jesus of peace in the context of war is apparent. Soldiers seeking peace but must destroy the evil before them. “The sound of their singing in this infamous Sambisa forest, praising God could be interrupted with usual barrage of gunshots and chant of “allahu akbar!” by Boko Haram and many may not come back home alive. We buried over 100 soldiers in December after the Rann attack,” the Pastor said.

He simply asked for prayers “for the many brave men and women giving their lives so that the country can remain free from this evil.”

Feature story Credits: Soldiers during Easter while fighting Boko Haram: Information Nigeria


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