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Nigerian Christians escape Boko Haram firing squad

Local pastor claims God intervened to save 72 people

A group of 500 Nigerian Muslim-background Christians, who gathered together for safety after a string of Boko Haram terrorist attacks, were later attacked again by the Islamist militant group. Most escaped, apart from 76 men, women and children who were taken captive, according to sources close to charity organisation Barnabas Fund.

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The 76 were taken to a Boko Haram camp where they were tortured. The four male leaders of the group were told at gunpoint to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ and revert to Islam. When they refused, the men were shot in front of their families and friends.

The following week, the wives of the four martyred men were also ordered to renounce their faith or their children would be executed. These schoolchildren are from families who were forced to flee their homes because of attacks by Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen. Eternity recently published reports of Nigerian Christians being murdered by Fulani herdsmen, a troubling situation described by some as “genocide” that has been ongoing during the past few years.

As the mothers held at the Boko Harama camp struggled under this terrible burden into the night, the children came running in and said that the Lord Jesus had appeared to them and said “all would be well”. According to the account, the Lord Jesus then appeared to all of the group and told them not to fear, that He would protect them. They should not renounce Him, but stay strong knowing that “He is the way, the truth and the life”.

The next morning the children (including one girl as young as four) were lined up against a wall by the terrorists. Their four mothers were told they could save them if they renounced Jesus Christ and returned to Islam. The mothers refused. The soldiers cocked their rifles and prepared to take aim when they suddenly started to grab at their heads, screaming and shouting “Snakes, snakes!” Some ran away and others dropped dead where they stood.

As one of the soldiers fell down dead, a Christian captive reached down to pick up the soldier’s gun to fire at the fleeing Boko Haram militants, but the youngest child put her hand on his arm and said, “You don’t need to do that. Can you not see the men in white fighting for us?”

All 72 lives were spared and the group is now living in other regions of Nigeria that are safe for Christians.

When our English-speaking contact asked their pastor why Jesus appeared to them and not to others he replied, “He does not need to. You have over 200 versions of Scripture and many people able to explain the Bible to you. These people do not.”

This article was first published by Barnabas Fund and is reproduced with permission.

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