Seventeen Christian Girls Disappear from School in Northern Nigeria
In September 2011, the Ministry of Education of Bauchi state, in Northern Nigeria, ordered the closure of the Government Girls Secondary School Yana (GGSS) in Tafawa Balewa. Seventeen female students, ages 15-22, were transferred to another girls’ college several miles away. Since their disappearance on the day of the transfer, the girls’ whereabouts remain unknown.
Upon visiting their daughters’ intended new school, parents were told by the school authorities that they had no knowledge of the girls’ location. According to a source, this incident came as no surprise to many believers in the area because the disappearance of Christian girls is not uncommon in Northern Nigeria. In Tafawa Balewa, a town ravaged by several attacks from Muslim Jihadists, church leaders are looking at the incident as part of the jihad against the Christian community in the North.
The entire Christian community of Tafawa Balewa remains traumatized by the disappearance of the seventeen girls. According to the source, the possibility of the girls still being alive is slim. Church leaders in the area are strategizing about a possible course of action.
Northern Nigeria is listed as number 13 on the World Watch List of the top 50 countries in the world where the persecution of Christians is most severe.
Father, we pray for these seventeen girls in Nigeria, that You would return them safely to their parents and that Your power and presence would be evident as a testimony to neighbors, as a comfort to their families and as a way to strengthen Your church there. But wherever these girls are, on earth or in heaven, we call on You to care for them, to comfort them, to love them, to strengthen and sustain them. And we are thankful for the confidence that they are in Your hands. In the name of Jesus who is present with us whatever our circumstances, Amen.