Terrorist militias continue to target Christian children and students in Africa as heartbroken parents pray for help from their governments.
We’ve told you about the 110 schoolgirls who were violently abducted from their school in Nigeria earlier this year. Among them was brave Christian teen Leah Sharibu who remains a hostage by the vile Islamic army Boko Haram. The terrorists have threatened to enslave her for life, or even kill her, if she will not convert to Islam. We’ve directly asked the Nigerian Ambassador to the U.S. to secure her release before it’s too late.
Just recently in neighboring African nation Cameroon, armed assailants reportedly stormed a Presbyterian school and kidnapped at least 79 students and three staff members.
North West Region Gov. Deben Tchoffo said the students abducted Sunday night were ages 11-17, and they were taken from Nkwen, a village near the regional capital, Bamenda, along with school staff that included the principal.
“It is rather unfortunate that this is happening, that 79 of our children and three of their staff can be picked up by terrorists,” Tchoffo said. “We have asked our military to do everything and bring back the kids alive.”
A video purporting to show the kidnapped students was posted on social media from a group of men who call themselves “Amba boys,” a reference to the state of Ambazonia that armed separatists want to establish in Cameroon’s Anglophone North West and South West regions.
In the video, men who identified themselves as the kidnappers forced several boys to give their names and those of their parents. The boys also said they were taken by the armed men late Sunday and didn’t know where they were being held.
This is just the latest round of violence being spread by radical separatists who wish to break away from Cameroon and establish a new, internationally recognized nation. They are reportedly opting to use terror, violence, and bloodshed – which has also resulted in the killing of an American missionary – to achieve this goal.
The separatists have vowed to destabilize the regions as part of the strategy for creating a breakaway state. They have attacked civilians who do not support their cause, including teachers who were killed for disobeying orders to keep schools closed.
There have been kidnappings at other schools, but the group taken Sunday was the largest number abducted at one time in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions. The separatists also have set fire to at least 100 schools and driven out students and teachers from buildings taken over as training grounds . . .
Last week, separatist militants attacked workers on a state-run rubber plantation in southwestern Cameroon, allegedly chopping off their fingers because the men defied an order to stay away from the farms.
An American missionary also died in the North West region near its capital, Bamenda, when he was shot in the head amid fighting between separatists and soldiers.
Thankfully it has since been reported that all 79 students and faculty have been released by the kidnappers. But children should not have to live in fear of being abducted, or worse, because they are Christians or for any other reason.
We are thankful that in this instance, the story had a positive ending, but young Leah Sharibu is still in the clutches of evil and her life is being threatened because of her Christian faith.
These kinds of religiously motivated mass kidnappings of Children are escalating in recent years. They must end.
We must remain vigilant and work to end the violence against Christians rapidly spreading across Africa. Radical terrorists are hunting down Christians.
We recently told you about the deadly bus attack in Kenya where terrorists mercilessly slaughtered any Christians on board.
We have a moral obligation to protect our brothers and sisters in Africa and around the world. We must urge the world’s leaders to stand together and demand protections for Africa’s Christians before it’s too late.
The ACLJ has gone directly to the United Nations delivering a critical written submission asking for intervention for Nigeria’s Christians and warning of the grave cost of inaction.
These violent terrorist groups must be brought to justice. Christians – especially Christian children – must be protected and allowed to live in peace.
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