Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nigerian students targeted in massacre speak out

Elkanah Sardauna was among
those targeted in the
October 1 massacre.
(Photo: Open Doors News) 
Boko Haram, an Islamic militant group, invaded the off-campus hostel of Federal Polytechnic College on October 1 and murdered approximately 40 students. The attack took place in the city of Mubi in remote Adamawa State, located in north-eastern Nigeria.

Gunmen reportedly rounded up the students and demanded to know their names. If they gave a Christian name, they were given a chance to deny their Christian faith and convert to Islam by reciting the shahada (Muslim prayer of faith). If they refused and stood firm in their Christian faith, they were either shot or stabbed to death on the spot. Survivors say some Muslims were also murdered, either mistakenly or intentionally. Those who gave Muslim names were required to say a Muslim prayer to prove their faith. If they could not recite the prayer, they were killed.

Compass Direct News recently interviewed several survivors of the attack. Below are excerpts from their article.
“I was asked to say my name to which I replied that I am a Christian and that my name is Elkanah,” said student Elkanah Sardauna. “They threw me to the ground, and shouted ‘Allahu Akbar.’ I cried out to Jesus, face to the ground. They demanded that I stop calling on Jesus, but I persisted. The next moment I was shot in the hand, and then slashed with a knife at the back of my neck. They must have thought I was dead because they left.”
Elkanah told our reporter from his hospital bed “It was only God who saved me when they came to our room. We were four sharing the room and all of us had Christian names. My three roommates were killed before my eyes. They got to me last.”
Manasseh, a student who survived a gunshot and severe knife injuries, shared his ordeal.
“They asked me to recant my Christian faith to spare my life. I refused. After my Muslim roommate quoted some Islamic scripture, he was told to leave the room. They said they were only after these ‘infidels’ who would all die that day. Then they shot me and slashed my back. This is really a picture of the great hatred for us Christians in the region.”
Please continue to pray for those mourning the loss of family members or friends. Pray that, in the midst of their grief, they may be filled with the joy that comes from knowing that they will see their loved ones again at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18). Pray along with a church leader in the area who shared, “Despite these circumstances the church will hold on to God and will triumph; we are not going to retaliate. We want to display Christlikeness even when they hate us. We are not going to relocate.... This is where the Lord has placed us. We shall stay and fulfil our calling to the glory of our heavenly Father.”

To read the full article, click here. For more information on Nigeria’s persecuted Church, please visit our Nigeria Country Report.

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