Nigerien Pastors Present Pulpit to Franklin Graham

January 8, 2016 • United States
Nigerien pastor
A pastor in Niger prays at a recent meeting.

The Samaritan’s Purse president recently received a gift from persecuted pastors to encourage him as the Decision America Tour begins

Following terrorist attacks at the offices of a satirical magazine in Paris last January, tensions extended all the way to Niger. Muslims began going to Christians’ homes, stealing what they wanted and burning the rest. The damage quickly extended to churches and missionary schools.

Nigerien Pastors Present Pulpit to Franklin Graham

Franklin Graham stands with his new pulpit from Niger

They went from church to church, starting at the Baptist Church at the Round Point, and looted. They took furniture, benches, windows, doors, and wires. When they were done, they ripped off the roof and tried to burn the building. They continued this process around the city of Niamey. Throughout the city, 60 churches burned in four hours. In total, 70 churches across the country burned in two days.

In July, Samaritan’s Purse launched a campaign to raise money to rebuild at least 20 churches in Niger. By the end of the week, we had raised enough money to rebuild 38 churches during a two-year period.

Once the campaign had been completed, our staff members in Niger met with the pastors of the churches to coordinate and plan the project. During the meetings, our country director told the pastors that the president of Samaritan’s Purse, Franklin Graham, planned to launch his Decision America Tour in January 2016. Graham will be hosting prayer rallies in every state capital across the United States over the next 10 months. In addition to leading prayer, he will be preaching the Gospel and encouraging Christians to participate in the political process at every level—local, state, and federal.

The pastors decided to have a wooden pulpit made for Franklin, similar to the lectern that is used by the prime minister of Niger. At the next meeting, 50 pastors prayed over the pulpit for Franklin and for the Decision America tour.

They recently shipped the pulpit to our international headquarters in Boone, North Carolina, where it was presented to Graham on Wednesday, January 6. The first Decision America Tour prayer had been held the day before in Des Moines, Iowa, and about 2,500 men and women braved the cold to participate in the event.

“I am honored to be given this pulpit and deeply grateful for the prayers and support of these pastors in Niger,” Graham said. “They are standing for Jesus Christ in the midst of terrible persecution. I am encouraged as the Decision America Tour begins and pray that our country will turn to God in repentance and faith. Now is the time for Christians around the world to be strong witnesses for the Gospel despite opposition from all sides.”