ICC Marks One Year of Captivity for Leah Sharibu
Kidnapped Teenager Holds Strong to Christian Faith
02/19/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – On February 19, 2018, at 5:30 p.m., Boko Haram entered the town of Dapchi, Nigeria, wearing military uniforms and driving trucks mounted with machine guns. They approached the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College (GGSTC) and ordered more than 100 schoolgirls to enter their trucks. They then disappeared with the girls for more than a month before the girls’ eventual release. Today marks one year since Boko Haram kidnapped those 110 schoolgirls. Of the girls who were abducted, only one remains in captivity. Leah Sharibu was the only Christian among the girls who were taken and she is also the only one still being held captive.
On March 21, 2018, 104 of the kidnapped girls were released back to their families; five died in captivity. Boko Haram militants brought the girls back home on buses, then warned the families against sending their daughters back to school. These same girls then told their families of Leah’s courage and faith in the face of almost certain death.
Prior to returning the abducted girls, the terrorists pulled Leah aside and told her that she would not be allowed to go home unless she recanted her faith. She refused. She told the terrorists that she could not deny Christ. After being held for nearly eight months, Leah again made headlines. On August 27, the terrorist group released a proof of life video of Leah. In the video, she pleads for the government to help her and her family.
Then, on September 17, 2018, Boko Haram killed an aid worker from the Red Cross named Saifura Khorsa. During the execution, the militants said that they would kill another three victims if the Nigerian government did not pay ransoms, including Leah. One month later, on October 16, Boko Haram executed another worker named Hauwa Liman. After her execution, Boko Haram declared that they were going to keep Leah as a “slave for life” because the government had not paid a ransom for her. Since then, there has been little to no communication about Leah from the Buhari administration or Boko Haram.
The Leah Sharibu Foundation stated, “We cannot forget about her today. Petition God, in prayer and fasting, for Leah’s release and freedom of religion.”
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