SANTA ANA, Calif. – News outlets are reporting that Nigerian schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, the only Dapchi schoolgirl in Boko Haram captivity, is dead. David Curry, CEO of Open Doors USA, released the following statement on behalf of the organization:
“If this report proves true, the news that Leah Sharibu may have been killed by Boko Haram is a devastating blow to the Christian community in Northern Nigeria and a terrible disappointment to Christians around the world who have been praying for her. Her death, if confirmed, further illustrates that the Nigeria Government of president Bhuhari has abandoned international standards of human rights by failing to provide even the most rudimentary protections to religious minorities, and to make honest efforts to hold violators to justice.
“Despite years of promises, Boko Haram and Fulani Militants are killing Christians without resistance from the Nigerian government. Without the resources to protect, and the will of duly elected civil government to fight the terrorist agenda of these groups, Northern Nigeria and others surrounding areas in the region maybe lost to these ISIS-affiliated groups. We urge the Nigerian government to immediately launch an investigation to confirm this report and, if true, to take deliberate action to bring the perpetrators to justice. If it is discovered this report is in error, let us all take this story as reason to double down on our efforts to intervene and decisively move to protect Leah and others like her who have fallen into the clutches of Boko Haram.”
Nigeria is No. 12 on Open Doors’ World Watch List, a ranking of the 50 most dangerous countries for Christians. With a population of nearly 200 million, the country’s primary religions are Islam and Christianity. There are more than 91 million Christians in Nigeria. Increased attacks on Christians in the north and in the Middle Belt have claimed the lives of hundreds of believers, and scores of villages and churches have been burned to the ground. Corruption has weakened the state, making it ill-equipped to protect Christians from the violence perpetrated by groups like Boko Haram.
About Open Doors USA
For more than 60 years, Open Doors USA has worked in the world’s most oppressive and restrictive countries for Christians. Open Doors works to equip and encourage Christians living in dangerous circumstances with the threat of persecution and equips the Western church to advocate for the persecuted. Christians are one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. For more information, visit OpenDoorsUSA.org.
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