TruthNigeria Reporters ‘Go Around’ Mainstream Media through Prayer and Fact-based Reporting
[Washington] In response to continuing murder and land-grabbing attacks in Nigeria, Equipping the Persecuted, [ETP] a humanitarian aid non-profit in Iowa, has launched a news site dedicated to clarity about the war on Christians: TruthNigeria.com. Equipping the Persecuted is a proud exhibitor at the Prayer, Vote, Stand Summit in Washington, D.C.
In just four months, TruthNigeria has drawn the attention of insiders in the Nigerian government, and ardent critics as well, gaining both the admiration of harried Christians and the ire of embarrassed authorities.
“We started TruthNigeria.com because no one else was willing to pull together a team and report on what is actually happening in Nigeria and provide the resources necessary to make this a sustained operation,” according to ETP founder Judd Saul, a Christian filmmaker.
“The world needs to know, and the Nigerians deserve their stories to be told,” Saul said. The unabated killing of Christian believers in Nigeria has been called a genocide by The International Committee on Nigeria and The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, a U.S. government watchdog group.
TruthNigeria from the outset of publication in June has saved lives by publishing security alerts about impending terrorist attacks drawn from confidential sources on the ground. All alerts were followed by deadly assaults within 48 hours.
Unlike mainstream media in Nigeria – and the West – TruthNigeria holds military and security forces accountable for deliberate failure to protect vulnerable Christian populations suffering brutal night-time attacks by radicalized Muslim mercenaries.
Alone among news platforms in Nigeria, TruthNigeria:
· Identifies the sectarian hatred of the “unknown gunmen” shielded from scrutiny by Nigerian- and U.S. government officials.
· Documents the arrival time of military authorities after notification of the start of attacks.
· Has documented the extrajudicial killings of civilian protestors by soldiers in Mangu, Nigeria on August 7.
The unique brand of TruthNigeria includes citizen-to-citizen diplomacy through person-to-person prayer. Managing editor Douglas Burton, a former State Department official in Iraq, began his reporting series on the Nigerian conflict by praying by cell phone with the news sources in the conflict zones. One of his prayer partners today is a visiting graduate student at Harvard University and a contributor to TruthNigeria. Rev. Gambo Waziri recalls the impact of praying with a news reporter in February 2022.
“Burton called us during our church worship service early on Feb. 13, after a series of devastating attacks in our community that had killed more than 30 people. He prayed for us that day, and it was so refreshing spiritually and emotionally to know that people outside Nigeria were praying for us.” For his part, Rev. Waziri, who supervised emergency food distribution for 14,000 internally displaced Christian residents living near Kafanchan, Nigeria, helped Burton document the complicity of the army with terror attacks in his region.
Prayer warriors who seek to pray in person with a Nigerian reporter in the war zones can be assigned a name and telephone number of one at the Equipping-the-Persecuted booth in the Convention Exhibit Hall at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.
The TruthNigeria news team is headed by Burton in Washington and Masara Kim in Jos, Nigeria, both recently honoured by the Catholic Press Awards 2023 with “Best Coverage in Religious Liberty Issues.”
Award-winning war correspondent Lara Logan, a mentor of Truth Nigeria reporters, has given her endorsement: “Truth Nigeria is out on the frontlines of one of the most important stories in the world, risking everything every day knowing they may not live through this. The genocide of Christians in the isolated villages of northern Nigeria is a historical fact because of the work of these journalists to simply expose what is unfolding in front of them, honestly and accurately. These are uncomfortable truths in today’s world, but with without them, the world would be deaf, dumb, and blind to this terrible reality.”