02/27/2021 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – According to a Morning Star News report, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) has released a video of abducted Pastor Bulus Yikura of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, stating that they will execute him on Wednesday, March 3rd, if their ransom isn’t paid. In the video, Yikura pleads with the government to negotiate his freedom, while an ISWAP militant stands behind him with a knife.
“I’m calling on President Muhammadu Buhari and the governor of Borno to help me, because I have been given a one-week ultimatum today, Feb. 24,” says Pastor Yikura in the video, “If you want me alive, I beg you in your capacity as president, the governor and our local government chairman to save me from this suffering.”
Pastor Bulus Yikura was kidnapped on Christmas eve in Borno State, Northeastern Nigeria, by the Abubakar Shekau led faction of the Boko Haram terrorist group. During the attack on Pemi village, militants kidnapped Yikura and 6 others, after killing at least 11 people. The video released on Wednesday is the third recorded by Boko Haram in which Yikura pleads for government intervention.
“Please pray for me,” he reportedly says in the video, “Today is the last day I will have the opportunity to call on you in your capacity as my parents and relatives in the country. Anyone who has the intention should help and save me. Please release me from this pain.”
For over a decade, Boko Haram has killed and displaced thousands of Christians in an attempt to discard western influence and impose strict Islamic Sharia law. The Christian charity Open Doors summarizes the terror group in this way: “In short, they view themselves as the ultimate expression of Islam, carrying out the true preaching and mission of the Muslim faith, which in their extremist view means fighting a holy war. Even the name “Boko Haram” roughly means ‘Western education is forbidden.’ They believe anything outside of their radical interpretation of Islam is meant to be fought against and is not to be accepted. To do this, their ultimate aim is to set up an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.”
Please pray for Pastor Bulus Yikura, that the Lord will bring him comfort and set him free from his captors. Please pray for the grieving families of those who were killed and kidnapped, and for the government to gain wisdom in rescuing believers in captivity. Please also pray for the world to recognize the scale of the suffering that believers are having to endure in Nigeria, as well as for the souls of those who persecute the church, that all will repent and find salvation in Christ.
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