Nigerian Christians, ICC Urge Prayer and Action for Leah Sharibu
"I can tell you from experience that she is going through immense mental, if not also physical, torture."
Christians in Nigeria paused at noon Good Friday to pray for Leah Sharibu, a Christian teen kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) declared Good Friday a day for Nigerian Christians to pray for Leah’s release, Nigerian news outlet Daily Post reported Wednesday.
“CAN is also reminding the Federal Government and the security agencies of the need to free Leah and other captives from the captivity of the Boko Haram terrorists,” CAN president Samson Olasupo Ayokunle said.
Captured and Persecuted
Leah, 15, was one of over 100 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram last month. Five girls died in captivity. The rest were released March 21 — except for Leah.
Boko Haram refused to release her because she is a Christian and would not convert to Islam, her family learned.
Nathan Johnson, International Christian Concern’s (ICC) Regional Manager for Africa, spoke with The Stream via email about Leah last week. “Leah will likely undergo harsh treatment in captivity,” he said.
In recent years ICC has petitioned the Nigerian government for the release of the Chibok girls, who were captured by Boko Haram in 2014. Many were eventually released, but several remain in captivity.
“We have seen Boko Haram sexually abuse girls, use them as slaves, and sell them to supporters and followers,” he told The Stream.
Leah’s parents are saddened by their daughter’s captivity. But Leah’s father Nata is also rejoicing that she has remained strong in her faith.
ICC Urges Prayer and Action
ICC posted a video Tuesday calling on viewers to pray for Leah.
“I can tell you from experience that she is going through immense mental, if not also physical, torture,” ICC’s president Jeff King says in the video. “And this is all because she wouldn’t convert to Islam.” As Johnson told The Stream last week, Leah needs prayer for protection, as well as faithfulness.
“Nigeria’s president, like any good politician, has said that Leah will not be left behind,” King says. “But she already has been.”
He issued a call to action: “Take two minutes, call the Nigerian embassy in your country, and urge them to find and release Leah Sharibu.”
The video provided the phone numbers for the U.S. and United Kingdom embassies (copied below).
How You Can Help Leah
- Pray. Join with Nigerian Christians in praying for Leah on Good Friday, and continue to lift her up in prayer until she is released.
- Raise awareness. As Johnson told The Stream last week, “None of the Chibok girls were released until after the [Bring Back Our Girls] campaign made news.”
- Call the Nigerian embassy in your country. U.S.A. Nigerian Embassy: (202) 516-4277. United Kingdom Nigerian High Commission: (+44) 020-7839-1244
Watch ICC’s video urging prayer and action for Leah: