15-Year Old Nigerian Girl Remains Hostage, Could Lead to Religious War
ICC Note: The 15-year old Nigerian hostage, Leah Sharibu remains a captive of Boko Haram, an active terror organization in the country. She has become an icon of Christian persecution globally but especially in Nigeria. Experts in the field of religious freedom are saying that if she is not returned safely to her family it could mean an all-out religious war for the nation.
05/22/2018 Nigeria (Newsmax) – The fate of a 15-year-old Nigerian girl could decide whether sectarian war breaks out in Nigeria, authorities warn.
Boko Haram returned 105 of the 111 girls it had abducted in February — but Leah Sharibu was not among them. The reason: The extremists said she had refused to renounce her Christian faith.
According to the Nigerian Daily Post, both the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Christian Association are warning that if Sharibu dies in Boko Haram hands it could touch off a full-blown religious war. Nigeria is 50 percent Muslim, 40 percent Christian, and 10 percent indigenous beliefs.
“Leah Sharibu must not die,” declared CAN spokesman Adebayo Oladeji. “Her death, God forbid, can spell doom for Nigeria. It can give an open invitation to religious war because Leah is being detained purely because of her religion.” Bishop Emmah Isong of the Pentecostal Christian Association warned that “the peace of this country hangs on the federal government promise to secure the release of Leah Sharibu.”
He added: “She has become an ambassador of Christianity to the Republic of Boko Haram and we are demanding that she returns home safely to her parents.”
After Newsmax’s Faith and Freedom Column and other outlets spotlighted the ongoing, mortal dangers that Christians face daily in Nigeria, President Donald Trump personally raised the issue during his April 30 meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
In his remarks at a joint White House press conference, Mr. Trump unequivocally pointed out to President Buhari: “…we’re deeply concerned by religious violence in Nigeria, including the burning of churches, and the killing and persecution of Christians. It’s a horrible story. We encourage Nigeria and the federal, state, and local leaders to do everything in their power to immediately secure the affected communities and to protect innocent civilians of all faiths, including Muslims and including Christians.”
It is highly unusual for an American president to speak publicly to a world leader in defense of Christians.
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