Urging Prayer and Action for Christian Teen Leah Sharibu On the Second “Anniversary” of Her Abduction by Islamic Militia, Boko Haram


CeCe Heil

February 19, 2020

4 min read

Persecuted Church



Imagine your daughter, or your sister, being held hostage for TWO YEARS by evil, violent criminals.

Today, Leah Sharibu, the Christian teenager who was abducted on February 19, 2018 by Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist militia, will mark her second year as the vile group’s prisoner. They have essentially enslaved her because the brave young Christian refused to renounce her faith and convert to Islam as they demanded.

This is a global tragedy.

As we’ve told you, Leah was one of 110 school girls kidnapped from their village at gunpoint in broad daylight. Five of these young women were killed. 104 were eventually freed after agreeing to convert to Islam. Some of the other girls said they begged Leah to convert as well so that she would be freed along with them, but she refused.

And now, two years later – and only a few months from her 17th birthday – this young Christian remains their captive because she won’t turn her back on Jesus, even if it means her life.

On the eve of Leah’s heartbreaking anniversary, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari restated his commitment to bringing Leah home safely:

This government continues and seeks to secure the release of all children and captives of terrorists – and we do so regardless of their creed or the name of their creator.

As we redouble our efforts for Leah’s return, we can never allow the terrorists to divide us – Christian against Muslim, Muslim against Christian. We are all Sons of Abraham. And all Nigerians have the same worth and rights before the law, and before God.

While his words are encouraging, to date, Nigeria’s government has done very little to secure Leah’s release.

But at the ACLJ, we have taken continual action in Washington and at the United Nations to make Leah’s plight known and to urge swift action for her freedom while there’s still time. We even sent a letter directly to the Ambassador of Nigeria urging his government to “respond with utmost urgency and take whatever actions necessary to assist in the safe release of Leah Sharibu.”

And we just delivered a critical written submission to the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) through our European affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), asking for action to end Boko Haram’s reign of violence against Nigeria’s Christians, and to intervene on behalf of Leah Sharibu. As we stated to the HRC:

Time is of the utmost importance for addressing Leah Sharibu’s case as she remains in serious danger and immediate action must be taken to free her before it’s too late.

As we wrote in our letter to the Nigerian Ambassador:

The time is now for Leah Sharibu to be returned safely home to her loving family, and for Nigeria to ensure that all school children, Christian and otherwise, live safely and freely.

Many of us at the ACLJ are mothers and fathers, and each of us is someone’s child. We cannot fathom the agony Leah’s parents have suffered these last two years, knowing at every waking moment, their precious daughter’s life is in grave danger.

We will continue to fight for Leah, and urge the international community to consider her parents’ pain as well, and to take action. We ask every ACLJ member to continue praying for Leah, that she will be freed soon, Lord willing, and doesn’t spend another birthday – let alone another year – in the clutches of soulless terrorists.

But along with prayer, we need you to take action with us.

Sign our petition and demand Leah Sharibu be brought home safely, and her captors must be brought to justice.