- (Photo: REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye)
A Nigerian evangelist said that most of the 200 plus schoolgirls kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram are Christians, which he says is further evidence of the militant Islamists' specific targeting of followers of Christ.
"Chibok local government is 90% Christian. Majority of the girls abducted are Christian! Why did Boko Haram visit Chibok local government? Why didn't they visit so many other local government girls secondary schools in Borno State?" asked Evangelist Matthew Owojaiye of the Old Time Revival Hour Church in Kaduna, who compiled a list of 180 kidnapped girls who have been identified, International Christian Concern shared.
Of those, Owojaiye identified that 163 are Christian girls, and 15 are Muslims.
On Monday, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau admitted that his group is responsible for the kidnapping of over 200 girls from Chibok, Borno State last month, and said that he plans to have them sold on the market.
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah," Shekau, said in the video translated by CNN.
"There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women."
The mass schoolgirls kidnapping has sparked outrage in the international community, with a number of political leaders, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pledging that "everything possible" will be done to rescue the girls.
"This is an outrage and a tragedy and we are doing what we can to assist the Nigerian government to support its efforts to find and free the young women who were abducted," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday.
With reports that the girls are being sold as brides to the Islamic militants for $12.00 each, the parents and Christian groups have called on the Nigerian military and the government of President Goodluck Jonathan to do all they can to find the girls.
"I am so very sad because the government of Nigeria did not take care of our children and does not now care about our children," said the mother one of the kidnapped 15-year old girls, according to Fox News. "All we have left is to pray to God to help them and help us."
The terrorist organization has been bombing government buildings and shooting at entire congregations for the past five years now, waging war on Nigeria's Christian population in its mission to establish Islamic rule.
ICC said that an estimated 2,500 people have been killed in 2014 alone by Boko Haram, many from known Christian communities.
"Boko Haram's deliberate targeting of Christian students for sale into domestic slavery and forced marriage once again illustrates the group's limitless repertoire of evil and its willingness to unleash that evil in pursuit of a separate Islamic state ruled by Sharia law. While ICC continues to join the international community in calling for a return to a peace in northern Nigeria, we cannot refuse to recognize the Nigerian State's inability to provide the security necessary to ensure prosperous living for the nation's Christians and other minority religions, especially in the increasingly lawless northern regions," said William Stark, ICC's Regional Manager.
"If the Nigerian state and international community continue to fail to respond to Boko Haram effectively, 230 innocent school girls could be lost to a lifetime of suffering and oppression at the hands of these Islamic militants," he added.