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Leah Sharibu in captivity
Militants released this photo of
Leah Sharibu in August, 2018.

On February 19th, 2018, members of a Boko Haram faction entered the town of Dapchi and ordered 110 schoolgirls into trucks. (An initial report on the abduction is available here.) Just over a year later, one of these girls remains in captivity because of her Christian faith.

The original attack reflected the group's opposition to any formal education, particularly when granted to girls. A month after the attack, 104 of the students were released with strong warnings to stay away from school. Five had unfortunately died during the incident. However, one of the surviving girls, Leah Sharibu, was denied freedom from captivity.

The only Christian in the group, Leah was singled out by the terrorists. They told the young believer that she would be released if she denied her faith in Christ. Even still, Leah refused to compromise. In the months to follow, the terrorists made demands for a ransom payment. Yet, in October, they issued a statement that Leah would be kept as a "slave for life" instead. Since then, there has been little to no communication about her.

On the anniversary of her captivity, a representative of the Leah Sharibu Foundation stated, "We cannot forget about her today. Petition God, in prayer and fasting, for Leah's release and freedom of religion."

Please join along with others around the world in intercession for Leah's safe release, as well as other captives who are being held by Boko Haram. May the Lord use this teen girl's unwavering testimony to encourage believers throughout Nigeria, while also speaking to the hearts of her captors. As Nigeria faces presidential elections this weekend, pray that God's Spirit will move among the country's leadership, encouraging these governmental leaders to stand firmly against the inhumane actions of rebel groups.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC works with in-country partners to encourage and strengthen persecuted Christians through a variety of methods. Christians are equipped with audio bibles to distribute to their persecutors. Christian widows receive skills training and trauma counselling as a way to provide an income for their families and heal from the trauma they’ve faced in losing their husbands. Children who have lost parents and relatives due to attacks are provided with a safe place to grow and be nurtured. Medical fees are paid for Christians who have suffered injuries due to attacks by Boko Haram and Fulani. Discipleship and vocational training are given to Muslim Background Believers to help them start their new lives spiritually and practically. The Glenn Penner Scholarship Award is used to help equip persecuted Christians completing their Masters and have a heart to share the Gospel with the lost in their community.

Project Funds: Women’s Ministry, Bibles, Medical Fund, Families of Martyrs, Equipping the Saints, Relief & Development

Country Information

Population
219,463,862 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Hausa (30), Yoruba (15.5), Igbo (15.2), Fulani (6), Tiv (2.4), Kanuri/Beriberi (2.4), Ibibio (1.8), Izaw/Izon (1.8), Other (24.7)

Religion (%)
Islam (53.5), Christianity (45.9), Other (0.6)

Leader
President Muhammadu Buhari (2015)

Government type
Federal presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law (in 12 northern states), and traditional law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Nigeria

May God minister great comfort and healing to all who have been injured or bereaved as a result of the militants' brutal attacks. In addition, pray for the remaining abducted Chibok schoolgirls, that they will be assured of the Lord's abiding presence as they await release from captivity. Continue to uphold President Buhari and other members of the Nigerian government as they make further attempts to rescue the remaining girls and provide protection for vulnerable citizens. As they persevere in their endeavours to overcome terrorism, may they be granted wisdom, courage, strength and help from on high.

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