Nigerian Islamists Abducting Christian Boys and Girls
A major Christian rights group has expressed concern that Muslim militants in Nigeria are increasingly kidnapping Christian children to convert them to Islam, BosNewsLife monitored Tuesday, March 20.
The Voice Of the Martyrs (VOM) Australia, which is supporting Christians persecuted for their faith, told BosNewsLife it had urged supporters to « pray for the protection of Christians in Nigeria » after reports that the abduction of « teenage Christian boys and girls » is rising in areas that include majority-Muslim Sokoto state.
It cited the case of 13-year-old Victor Udo Usen, a member of the Christ Apostolic Church in Sokoto, who went missing in November last year. His mother Esther Udo Usen reportedly failed in her attempt to rescue him in February after a tip from a young Christian girl who raced to Usens’ home in the Mabera area of Sokoto city, the state’s capital.
She was apparently unable however to free him from the house where her son had been held incommunicado for six months. « I quickly held his hands and dragged him along with me towards our [nearby] house, » Compass Direct News quoted Esther Udo Usen as saying.
But within a twinkle of an eye, I heard shouts of »Allahu Akbar ! or ’God is great.’ I was shocked as I saw a large number of Muslims rushing towards us,” she added. The mob apparently surrounded them and snatched her son away from her.
Before she could send her husband, members of the mob allegedly told her that her son was « now a Muslim » and that she and her husband were no longer his parents. « They abducted him in November last year, and I only saw him today, » she added. « How can someone force my son into his religion ?
The police told us that they cannot do anything at the moment until the Sultan of Sokoto, the leader of Muslims in Nigeria, returns from his trip. They have held this boy for six months without our consent. They have forced him into Islam. How can they do this to a 13-year-old child ?, » Usen told the news agency.