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The al-Qaida linked Islamic group Boko Haram unleashed a new tactic in its war to obliterate Christianity in northern Nigeria: convert or die.

Two gunmen from Boko Haram kidnapped Hajja, a 19-year-old Christian, in July as she picked corn near her village in the Gwoza hills, a remote part of northeastern Nigeria where a six-month-old government offensive is struggling to contain an insurgency by Boko Haram.

‘If I cried, they beat me. If I spoke, they beat me. They told me I must become a Muslim but I refused again and again,’ Hajja told Reuters in an interview.

The Islamists threatened her with a knife pressed to her throat and said her options were to convert to Islam or die. Hajja said, ‘I can’t sleep when I think of being there,’ about her captivity during the three month period of forced slavery. She had watched Boko Haram members slit the throats of prisoners that were captured. Hajja, whose last name cannot be disclosed because of remaining family members in northern Nigeria who could face retaliation from Boko Haram, currently lives in the capital Abuja. The Islamic militant group Boko Haram is trying to purge Christianity from northern Nigeria. Many Christians have been killed or maimed and many churches have been burned to the ground.

Sources: Reuters, The Jerusalem Post

Prayer Points

  • Please pray for Hajja, thank the Lord for freeing her from captivity; pray He will remove from her the burden of fear and feelings of oppression.
  • Pray the Lord will protect our sisters in Northern Nigeria. Pray He will release the captives.
  • Ask the Lord to restrict the activities of members of Boko Haram and frustrate their plans to cause harm.