Some Chibok Girls Forced to Fight for Boko Haram
BBC News published a report last week that claims some of the Chibok girls kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram over a year ago have been forced to join the group. Witnesses report that they 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 Boko Haram have been forced to fight in the past. Three women who claim they were held in the same camps as a number of the Chibok girls have told the BBC’s Panorama current affairs program that some of the abducted schoolgirls have been brainwashed and are now carrying out punishments on behalf of the militants.
Open Doors workers in Nigeria have heard similar reports, but like the BBC, they have been unable to confirm them independently. However, such forced participation would be in keeping with Boko Haram practices.
Dr. Fatima Akilu is in charge of Nigeria’s counter-violence and extremism program, which includes managing the post-rescue aid for 300 of the approximately 1,000 recently rescued women and children. Akilu said beatings, torture, rape, forced marriages and pregnancies were common in Boko Haram 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. Since the kidnapping of the approximately 275 Chibok girls (232 are still missing), Open Doors has also been ministering to the families of the girls.
Please join us in praying that the Lord will preserve His children who find themselves in captivity, facing constant violence, forced marriages and forced conversions. Pray that all of these captives, including the Chibok girls, will be released soon.
Father, we stand alongside these sisters in Christ, praying, “Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; …. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me. The Lord will vindicate me; your love, Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.” (Ps. 138) We pray in confidence, Lord, that You will preserve Your children who are in captivity and facing constant threats on their lives. We pray for Your Holy Spirit to strengthen them to stand in courage and faithfulness even in the face of death. For those who have succumbed in fear to extreme pressure to speak and act on behalf of the enemy, we pray for Your protection over their souls, and we pray that they will soon be restored in their faith and in freedom. Thank You for those who have been freed; we pray for Your hand of comfort and restoration to rest upon them. We pray for local authorities to bring about Your true justice in the nation of Nigeria. And, we pray for Your church; that they will be daily refreshed and encouraged from Your Word; that You will protect them as they continue to come before You in praise worship in the midst of uncertainty and fear. In the Name of Jesus, our firm anchor of hope in a world turned upside down, Amen!