Ibrahim, a Christian evangelist in Nigeria, introduced Fatima and her Fulani Muslim parents to Jesus. Her parents resisted, but Fatima grew to love hearing about Jesus and soon became a secret believer.
At 17, Fatima’s parents withdrew her from school. They had arranged for her to be married to a much older man. Devastated, Fatima refused saying that she wanted to follow Jesus and she knew her husband to be, would not allow it. Her parents became furious. They gave her the choice marry him or be killed as a heretic.
Fatima escaped home to look for Ibrahim and to beg for his help. He took her to a pastor who brought her safely to a VOM partner ministry which offers refuge, care and training. For months, Fatima studied Christian teaching and vocational training at the ministry centre.
Her parents soon realised that Ibrahim helped her escape and they approached the Human Rights Commission to have him arrested on child trafficking charges. The pastor who helped Fatima learned of the arrest and urged Fatima to return and testify.
The commission assured her that as she was now 18, her testimony would guarantee Ibrahim’s freedom and she could stay with the pastor’s family for the duration of the trial.
All members of the state Human Rights Tribunal are Muslim, appointed by the Islamic clans in control. When Fatima reported to the commission, they handed her over to her parents.
As a result, Ibrahim’s trial was held without Fatima’s testimony, it lasted less than an hour and he was found guilty of attempted child trafficking and sentenced to three years’ prison. He remains in prison in Maiduguri. Ibrahim’s appeal is coming up soon.
Fatima remains imprisoned at her parent’s home. She continues to be strong in her faith.
Source: Christian Faith Ministries Nigeria (VOM partner)
- Join with us in praying that the unjust trial decision will be overturned and that Ibrahim will be released.
- Pray that in the meantime, Ibrahim will be used by the Lord as a powerful witness to fellow prisoners, guards and the authorities.
- Ask the Lord to give Fatima strength, wisdom and protection. Pray for the salvation of her family members.
Post your prayer in the comments below.