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02/19/2022 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – Today marks the fourth year anniversary of the abduction of Leah Sharibu, a Nigerian schoolgirl who was just fourteen when she was kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorist group. She is the only child still held from that kidnapping and continues to be held captive because she refuses to renounce her Christian faith, according to multiple former Boko Haram prisoners who had contact with her.

Leah, who turns nineteen on May 14, seems to have been married off to one of her abductors and is rumored to have two children, though hard evidence of her current state is difficult to come by because she is not allowed any contact with her family. The only news comes from survivors of Boko Haram who have either escaped or been released.

On February 19, 2018, at 5:30 pm, Boko Haram kidnapped 110 schoolgirls from the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College located in northeast Nigeria. After a month of negotiations between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram, 104 out of the 105 girls left alive were released from captivity and returned home to their families, leaving Leah alone in captivity.

Leah’s case has been the subject of worldwide outrage and helps to illustrate the way Islamist terrorism impacts Christian communities in Nigeria. The Nigerian government, though outwardly sympathetic to Leah’s situation, has seemed to do little to rescue her.

The international community must continue to champion Leah’s cause and demand that she be released. It must also pressure the Nigerian government to take a more active role in defending innocent Christians in the Middle Belt and northern parts of Nigeria.

Please continue to pray for Leah Sharibu and her family, including her two young children. Pray that the Lord will grant wisdom to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian government. Pray that Leah will be released and that the Lord will ease the burdens of the trauma that she and her family have experienced. 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.

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