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04/20/2021 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – April 14th marked the seventh anniversary of the kidnapping of the Chibok schoolgirls from Borno state in Nigeria. At the time of the incident 276 girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram. 112 remain missing today.

Since their abduction, at least 20 of the children’s parents have died, reportedly due to the repercussions of stress and depression faced while awaiting their daughters return.

On the seventh anniversary of their kidnapping, a campaign event was held via zoom promoting the slogan: “Bring Back our Girls- now and alive! Disclosure and closure”. During the event, speakers called out the governments lackluster approach to rescuing the missing children:

“Event speakers all said they struggle to understand why recent mass school kidnaps (there have been at least three this year alone) have seen those children freed almost the very next day.” Wrote Julia Bicknell of World Watch Monitor, continuing:

“They point to initial denials and incredulity by the state and federal authorities; indeed the President at the time of the 2014 mass abduction, Goodluck Jonathan, eventually ordered an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the mass kidnap because his government denied the incident had even happened for the first two weeks. The inquiry, led by retired Army-Gen. Ibrahim Sabo submitted its report on 20 June, 2014 but it has never been published and nothing has been heard of it since, according to one of the speakers.” 

Over the course of the past several years, some of the girls have managed to escape and explain what life was like in Boko Haram captivity. Rape was a regular part of the girls’ lives. They have also been witnesses to murders and at times been forced to commit murder themselves. Over half of the girls kidnapped were Christian and some of the girls that have been released report that Christians were treated especially harsh.

Boko Haram is a jihadist militant group that is violently opposed to western education and ideology. The group established the pattern of kidnapping for ransom in the 2014 Chibok kidnapping, which since has led to various groups adopting the idea in an attempt to receive ransom payment. 2021 has already seen several large-scale kidnappings which reportedly have been carried out by loosely organized bandits. Recently, Kaduna state governor El Rufai informed the public that the ransoms these groups received were, in fact, used to fund Boko Haram.

Please pray for those who have experienced trauma due to kidnappings, and for those who are still in captivity, that they will be released unharmed and returned to their families. Pray for the healing of Nigeria, for the end of mass abductions and killings, and for the Lord to transform the hearts of those who persecute the church.     

For interviews please contact Alison Garcia at [email protected].