Kidnapped Pastor Set Free Hours Before Scheduled Execution
03/06/2021 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – Boko Haram Terrorists released Pastor Bulus Yikura on Wednesday, March 3rd, the day of his scheduled execution.
“The pastor was dropped off in the evening at the outskirts of Maiduguri, the birthplace and epicentre of Boko Haram.” Stated This Day news agency, “his family members were contacted to pick him up from where he was dropped.”
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, militants kidnapped Yikura and six others, after killing at least 11 people.
During Yikura’s captivity, Boko Haram released three videos in which the Pastor pleaded for government intervention. The latest video ignited a public outcry as Pastor Yikura explained that he had one week before being executed. In the video, Yikura is seen kneeling 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, February 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.”
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 continue to pray for Pastor Bulus Yikura and his family, that they will feel peace and security despite the tragic ordeal they have faced. Please pray for the grieving families of all those who have been killed and kidnapped, and for the government to gain wisdom in rescuing all believers in captivity. Please also pray for the souls of those who persecute the church, that all will repent and find salvation in Christ.
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