They Cry in Silence Jul/Aug 2014

JOS, Nigeria—Although U.S. officials and other global players were trying to help recover the girls kidnapped from a majority-Christian high school in Nigeria’s Borno state in April, scores of similarly heartbreaking stories of Islamist abductions have gone unheeded.

One such case involved a Christian father of three girls from Chibok, the predominantly Christian town in Borno state where militants from the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped about 300 high school girls. [Editor’s Note: At press time, only 50 had escaped.)

Boko Haram—which took the girls deep into the forest between Nigeria and Cameroon and said it would sell them to be married to its militants—and other Islamic extremists have been kidnapping Christian girls for years. In 2007 a man in Maiduguri lost his daughters to kidnappers after the death of his ex-wife, who had divorced him for converting to Christianity.

His efforts to rescue them from the Muslim relatives of his ex-wife became futile, even though he had custody of them. Muslim leaders bluntly told him that because he was a Christian, an “infidel,” he could not be allowed to be with his children.

Muslim leaders and government officials ensured a travesty of justice. The judge who presided over the case denied him custody because he was a Christian. The judge stated that under Islam, a non-Muslim cannot be given custody of children unless he converts to Islam. The judge said his decision was rooted in Islamic law and jurisprudence.

The most excruciating experience for this father was that his children were not only forcefully taken away from him, but they were forcefully enrolled in an Islamic school to receive instruction in Islam.

Few news outlets carried the story, although it was available. No government official in Nigeria made any effort to rescue these Christian girls and reunite them with their father.

Because of the conspiracy of some powerful Islamic forces and those in positions of power in the government of Borno state, the kidnapping case went unheard. Now, seven years later, terrorists abducted mainly Christian girls in Borno on a larger scale; and the Nigerian government appears helpless in the face of this tragedy.

Chibok, along with Gwoza and Uba areas, provides Christians in Borno state with a Christian environment they inherited from previous generations. Christian missionary activities were largely centered around these towns. Now Boko Haram seeks to impose strict Sharia (Islamic law) throughout the country.

Most Christians in this part of Nigeria have been forced to flee their homes. Some are now refugees in other countries like Cameroon, while others have been displaced to other parts of Nigeria. Christians in northern Nigeria are left with no other option than to lament over their plight. Will other Christians around the world also look on without doing something about this tragedy?

The time has come for Christians in climates of religious liberty, who have the privilege to worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to speak out against this evil and stand in the gap for persecuted Christians in Nigeria.

by Morning Star News
(morningstarnews.org)

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