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. more >>
Thousands of petitions for Pastor Saeed Abedini in Iran and Kenneth Bae in North Korea are set to be delivered to Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf on Capitol Hill, with a Christian watchdog group calling on the Obama administration to step up its efforts for the release of the two imprisoned Christians.
"The human and religious rights of both of these men have been flagrantly violated since their detention in these foreign countries; therefore, as your constituent, I urge you to pursue every possible course of action, without delay, to secure the immediate release of Saaed Abedini in Iran and Kenneth Bae in North Korea," read the petition, organized by Christian Freedom International and addressed to Obama and his officials.
Abedini, a U.S. citizen currently serving eight years in prison in Iran, was arrested in July 2012 while working on an orphanage project and was accused by Islamic authorities of "threatening national security." Bae was also arrested in 2012 while leading a tour from China to North Korea and accused of making plots against the government. more >>
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has recommended that the State Department add eight more nations to a list of "countries of particular concern," which designates them as places where "severe violations of religious freedom are tolerated or perpetrated."
Among the eight already included on the list are Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan. The USCIRF report has also petitioned that Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam also be added.
The United States has offered to help the Nigerian government locate a large number of girls believed to have been abducted by the terrorist group Boko Haram.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on Thursday that the US has been and will continue to help Nigeria regarding the mass abduction and overall antiterrorism efforts.
Islamic militants from the al-Shabaab terrorist organization reportedly dragged out a Christian woman from her home in Somalia and shot her dead while friends and neighbors tried to save her.
According to International Christian Concern, the murder occurred earlier this month when armed militants stormed the home of the woman, Sufia, in Mogadishu. She was dragged out in front of her parents by gunpoint, before being publicly shot in front of a crowd. Friends and neighbors attempted to save her.
The Islamists had accused the Somali woman of being an apostate (a person who converts from Islam to another faith). more >>
Nigerian school and government officials are reporting that 187 girls are still being held captive, as of Wednesday, by suspected members of Boko Haram. The local chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria is asking Christians around the world to join them in prayer and fasting this week for their safe release.
On April 14, the alleged members of Boko Haram, an Islamist group involved in violence reported to have claimed more than an estimated 3,000 lives in the last five years, drove into Chibok in Borno state in seven pickup trucks, according to news reports. While some of the attackers set government and other buildings ablaze, others went to the senior secondary school where they overpowered the security guards before forcing about 230 of the female students into trucks and drove the girls between the ages of 16 and 20 deep into the nearby Sambisa forest.
"The Christian enclave of Chibok, a Christian village, has been thrown into mourning over the abduction of girls from a secondary school," reported Open Doors workers from Nigeria. "Almost every house has a child in this school. Cries of parents could be heard all over the town as they prayed for God's intervention over their tragic circumstances." more >>