Niger

World Watch ranking: 27
Map thumbnail
Leader
Interim leader Abdourahmane Tchiani

How many Christians?
66,600 (0.2%)

Main threat
  • Islamic oppression

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How many Christians are there in Niger?

Christians comprise a tiny minority in Niger. Of the country’s 27 million population, just 66,600 are believers – that’s 0.2%.

How are Christians persecuted in Niger?

Last year’s military coup has added to the growing hostility felt by many Christians across Niger.  Islamic militants have already been growing in influence in Niger, leading to a rise in attacks on churches and Christian schools. In areas under militant control, church services are carried out under the shadow of potential violence or physical attack. The instability in the Sahel region only adds to this vulnerability.

Those who leave Islam to follow Jesus face the additional challenge of pressure from their own families to renounce their new faith.

Pressure also comes from the authorities, and this could likely increase in the near future. The legal process for registering a church is arduous and protracted, and legal roadblocks have occasionally been used to prevent Christians from gathering, significantly impacting their sense of community. Believers can also face discrimination in the public sector workplace; they seldom secure jobs within local government services, and promotions are frequently denied.

Meet 'Halima'

“She would deny me food, beat, insult and threaten to kill me.” halima on the persecution she's experienced from her mother

What’s life like for Christians in Niger?

Niger is a heavily male-dominated society, and women and girls are particularly vulnerable to abduction, rape and sexual abuse by extremist groups. This context can make life very dangerous for our sisters who bravely choose to follow Jesus. 

Halima* was raised by a Christian father and Muslim mother. When they separated, she lived with her mother, who was furious at Halima’s decision to follow in the faith of her father. She was thrown out of home and left homeless. One night, she was sexually abused by three men.

The horrific incident led to Halima returning to live with her mother, but the persecution continued. She was beaten, insulted and threatened with death and denied food. In February 2023, Halima went to a prayer meeting, but on her return home, she found that her mother was angrier than ever. “She packed my belongings and brought them outside the house and locked the house.

“I would like you to pray for me,” asks Halima. “Currently, I live with a Christian family and I am well nourished. I am well protected in this Christian family. But I would like you to pray for me so that my faith will not grow cold, and that my mum will give her life to Christ.”

*Name changed for security reasons

How can I help Christians in Niger?

Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Niger. Your prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.

Open Doors works through partners in Niger to strengthen persecuted Christians through economic empowerment programmes, leadership and discipleship training, persecution survival training and pastoral care for new believers.

please pray

Lord Jesus, restore peace and stability to Niger and bring good from the upheaval and pain caused by last year's military coup. Keep our family encouraged, faithful and passionate for You amid rising challenges, and protect them from all evil and harm. Frustrate the plans of those who want to stir up violence and division, and lead them to You. Heal our brothers and sisters who are carrying pain, meet every need, and help Your children to keep their eyes fixed on You during difficult moments. May Your face shine powerfully on Your people, giving them strength and drawing others to You. Spirit of the living God, have Your way in Niger. Amen.

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