BBC News has published a report this week that some of the Chibok girls kidnapped by an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria in April 2014 have been forced to join the group. Witnesses say some are now being used to terrorize other captives, and are even carrying out killings themselves.
The testimony cannot be verified, but Amnesty International says other girls kidnapped by an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria have been forced to fight. Three women who claim they were held in the same camps as some of the Chibok girls have told the BBC’s Panorama current affairs program that some of them have been brainwashed and are now carrying out punishments on behalf of the militants.
Open Doors workers in Nigeria have heard similar claims, but like the BBC, they have been unable to confirm them independently. Such forced participation would be in line with an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria practices.
Please join us in praying that the Lord will preserve His children who find themselves in captivity and face constant violence, forced marriage and forced conversion. Pray that all of these captives, including the Chibok girls, will be set free soon.
Dr. Fatima Akilu is in charge of Nigeria’s counter-violence and extremism program. She is in charge of 300 of around 1,000 recently rescued women and children. Akilu said beatings, torture, rape, forced marriages and pregnancies were common in an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria camps.
“Recovery is going to be slow, it’s going to be long, it’s going to be bumpy,” she states.
There are concerns over the radicalization of victims, but Akilu says they are monitoring the situation. Open Doors workers have had limited contact with escapees. However, since the kidnapping of the approximately 275 Chibok girls (232 are still missing), Open Doors has been ministering to the families of the girls.
Open Doors partners with local churches to strengthen, support, equip and provide assistance in northern Nigeria through such programs as Bible distribution, training seminars, assistance to Christian schools, emergency support, trauma counseling, legal assistance and implementation of socio-economic projects for new believers and widows of Christian leaders who have been killed.
Nigeria is ranked #10 on Open Doors’ 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.