Thousands of Christians have been killed or abducted by Boko Haram, the militant Islamist group who claim to have established a ‘caliphate’ (Islamic state) in northern Nigeria. On a devastating scale also, Christians are also the target of Hausa-Fulani Muslim herdsmen, who have destroyed hundreds of churches and killed thousands of Christians. Twelve of the northern states have adopted Islamic law, and Christians are frequently discriminated against in this region, with Christian villages often lacking clean water and health clinics, and Christians being denied access to secondary school and higher education.
In March ths year, Boko Haram abducted 105 girls in Dapchi whom they asked to convert to Islam.
Out of the abducted girls, school girl Leah Sharibu refused to denounce her faith despite persuasion by the rest of her abducted school friends. Boko Haram thus refused to release her while releasing the rest. The only Christian girl among the Dapchi schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram could have been freed along with her schoolmates but refused to renounce her faith, according to her mother. Leah Sharibu refused to accept Islam, resisting the entreaties of her classmates to pretend to do so, her parents learned from snatched conversation with her friends.
Leah asked her friends to tell her parents to pray for her, they said, but her mother could not find out anything else about how her daughter was, as the army then ordered all of the released girls to report to the hospital.
“Boko Haram did not release my daughter because the young woman refused to abandon her faith to embrace the Muslim religion,” said the mother of Sharibu.
The president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, pointed out on Twitter the following:
“It is disheartening that one of the girls, Leah Sharibu, remains in captivity (…) We will do everything in our power to recover Leah safely (…) It will not be abandoned.” Up to date, there is no news about the young heroine or updates on efforts being made to rescue her. This is very heartwrenching especially for her mother.
Besides Leah Sharibu, thousands are being massacred and kidnapped by Boko Haram and the Fulani Herdsmen due to their faith. No Christian should suffer persecution, discrimination or death for the simple act of professing the Christian faith.
It is time to stop this kind of Christian massacre! It is enough to kill thousands just because they profess Christ! Please stop it.
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