(Voice of the Persecuted) Urgent prayers needed for Nigerian Christian teenager threatened to be executed today by Boko Haram. 15 year old Leah Sharibu was among over 100 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents from a school in Dapchi, Northern Nigeria on Feb. 19, 2018. It was a kidnapping that mirrored what happened in Chibok four years earlier when 276 girls were abducted from the school in Chibok, Borno State. A month after the Dapchi abduction on March 22 the militants released 104 of the schoolgirls, with the exception of Leah. The teenager was the only Christian in the group. Boko Haram members told Leah to renounce her Christian faith and become a Muslim or they would not let her go. The Muslim schoolgirls begged her to do it and go home with them, but she refused to deny her faith in Jesus and is still a captive of the Boko Haram. The Nigerian government has been bombarded with pleas, including those from the international community, to step up and secure Leah’s immediate release.
A month ago, Boko Haram militants killed one of three Red Cross workers being held as their captives. The militants gave a one month deadline to kill Leah and the two others unless the Nigerian government met the radical group’s demands for their release. Today marks that deadline!
We ask that you pray with us for young Leah and the Red Cross workers.
…for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Rom. 14:8-9
The Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Cor. 5:8, we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
Our brothers and sisters in the New Testament did not fear martyrdom. In fact, they considered the martyrs crown to be an honor and read in Revelation 20 that the martyrs will reign with Jesus in heaven.
Not to promote a cult of martyrdom, but to encourage that we need not fear what the enemy will do. Rejoice that Christ has conquered death and is victor over all. The persecuted church in Nigeria and around the world is not a “victimized” church but part of the global, persecuted church who is a “victorious” church because the bride of Christ follows a “victorious” Savior. The Son, who has conquered death, sits at the right hand of God the Father.
Only God knows what will happen to Leah Sharibu, this day, or in the days to follow. Pray for her release and let us also pray and rejoice that His good, acceptable and perfect will will be done to bring Him glory. For Leah Sharibu, our dear sister, belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. Not jihadists or even the devil can snatch her out of the hand of Jesus.