A boat captain faces a prison sentence of up to 90 years after being charged in Spain with the murder of six Christian migrants by allegedly throwing them overboard. According to the indictment against him, the captain and a colleague attacked the six Nigerian Christians because they believed the passengers' prayers had provoked a storm during the voyage from North Africa.
The inflatable boat had about 50 migrants aboard when it left Morocco in December of 2014 to make the 14-kilometre voyage to Spain. Police state in the indictment that the attackers pulled back slats and beat the Christians, then threw them into the "raging sea" where they were lost. One body was found a few days later off the coast of Granada.
The captain, named as Alain N.B. from Cameroon, has denied all charges. He was one of two men arrested in connection with the incident; the second man died before the start of the trial. Prosecutors in the Spanish city of Almería have requested 15 years for each of the six offences. If convicted of all charges, Alain will be serving 45 of the total 90 years behind bars.
So far this year, more than 300,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean Sea in order to reach Europe, after fleeing countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Nigeria. Another 3,000 died while attempting to make the crossing. (For a report on a similar incident involving the persecution of migrants, click here.)
Please pray for the grieving families and friends of the six Nigerian Christians whose lives tragically ended while at sea. May they continue to sense God's comforting presence and strength. Likewise, let's uphold the loved ones of the many other migrants who perished while crossing the Mediterranean Sea in their attempts to seek refuge. In addition to praying that justice will prevail during the upcoming trial, please intercede on behalf of the accused captain who is, from an eternal perspective, spiritually lost and destined to perish unless he genuinely repents and turns His life over to God. May Alain experience our Lord's unconditional love and, as a result, receive His mercy and salvation.