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Leah Sharibu
Photo: Morning Star News

News that over 100 kidnapped schoolgirls were released by a Boko Haram faction on March 21st brought joy to concerned parents, a nation and people around the world. The girls had been kidnapped from their school in Dapchi on February 19th (see this page) and taken to an unknown location. According to those released, five of the girls died earlier due to the stress and trauma of the attack. One girl, Leah Sharibu, remains in captivity for one simple reason: she refuses to convert to Islam.

All of those released were Muslim, and the attackers announced that Leah would also be released if she complied with their demand to repeat the Shahada (an Islamic confession of faith). As a Christian she refused, despite the cost. Leah's parents, Nathan and Rebecca, continue to be concerned. Yet, as Nathan said, "I am very sad; but I am also overjoyed because my daughter did not denounce Christ."

Nigeria's president faces pressure from many directions to ensure that Leah is released. He has assured the family that Leah will not be abandoned.

Praise God for the release of the recently abducted girls. Please continue to pray earnestly that Leah will be safely released as well. In the meanwhile, may she stand firm in her commitment to Christ amid mounting pressure. Ask the Lord to also minister to Leah's parents as they await her deliverance.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC works with in-country partners to encourage and strengthen persecuted Christians through a variety of methods. Christians are equipped with audio bibles to distribute to their persecutors. Christian widows receive skills training and trauma counselling as a way to provide an income for their families and heal from the trauma they’ve faced in losing their husbands. Children who have lost parents and relatives due to attacks are provided with a safe place to grow and be nurtured. Medical fees are paid for Christians who have suffered injuries due to attacks by Boko Haram and Fulani. Discipleship and vocational training are given to Muslim Background Believers to help them start their new lives spiritually and practically. The Glenn Penner Scholarship Award is used to help equip persecuted Christians completing their Masters and have a heart to share the Gospel with the lost in their community.

Project Funds: Women’s Ministry, Bibles, Medical Fund, Families of Martyrs, Equipping the Saints, Relief & Development

Country Information

Population
219,463,862 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Hausa (30), Yoruba (15.5), Igbo (15.2), Fulani (6), Tiv (2.4), Kanuri/Beriberi (2.4), Ibibio (1.8), Izaw/Izon (1.8), Other (24.7)

Religion (%)
Islam (53.5), Christianity (45.9), Other (0.6)

Leader
President Muhammadu Buhari (2015)

Government type
Federal presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law (in 12 northern states), and traditional law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Nigeria

May God minister great comfort and healing to all who have been injured or bereaved as a result of the militants' brutal attacks. In addition, pray for the remaining abducted Chibok schoolgirls, that they will be assured of the Lord's abiding presence as they await release from captivity. Continue to uphold President Buhari and other members of the Nigerian government as they make further attempts to rescue the remaining girls and provide protection for vulnerable citizens. As they persevere in their endeavours to overcome terrorism, may they be granted wisdom, courage, strength and help from on high.

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