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Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.
Wikipedia via Morning Star News

It has recently been reported that the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok (in Borno state) has been seized by Boko Haram militants. Since the group's abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in April of 2014, this mainly Christian town has been frequently mentioned in international news headlines. Boko Haram has also repeatedly targeted the villages surrounding Chibok in recent months in its fight to create an Islamic state within Nigeria.

Borno state senator Ali Ndume reported that security forces posted in Chibok ran from the area during the attack as they were greatly outnumbered by the insurgents. A vigilante who was present at the time, in his effort to assist with the defense of the town, now serves as an eye witness of the scene. "You couldn't count (the militants) because there were so many," he testifies. "All the security and the soldiers ran away and left us on our own. They didn't shoot at them, they just ran. All the ammunition we had was finished, so there was no way we could attempt to hold the area."

Since the kidnapping of the schoolgirls, much concern has been raised over the fact that the area is not well protected. (For our previous report on the kidnapping incident, please click here.) As a result, thousands of Chibok residents have fled their hometown community, hoping to find safety in other parts of the country. In the midst of this perilous situation, especially considering the large number of abducted girls who have yet to be rescued from captivity, it is encouraging to learn from the officials and residents of Mubi (also located in northeastern Nigeria) that the army has managed to recapture their town from Boko Haram's control. To learn more about the challenges facing our Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria, you may review VOMC’s country report.

First of all, let us pray for God's perfect peace to calm the distraught hearts of the kidnapped girls and their families, as well as those of their once close-knit Chibok community (Philippians 4:7). May He reveal the whereabouts of the girls who are still being held captive so they can be safely rescued and joyfully reunited with their loved ones. In the meantime, pray that they will be sheltered from any potential harm or abuse at the hands of their captors. God's Word also instructs us to pray for the persecutors of His people -- those who themselves are in desperate need of rescue from the captivity of the evil one and his works of destruction.