A Nigerian Christian who survived a kidnapping orchestrated by the terrorist group Boko Haram has credited her escape to a deal she made with God.
Joy Bishara, one of the 276 Nigerian girls who was kidnapped from their school in Chibok on April 14, 2014, spoke at International Christian Concern’s press conference announcing the 2021 Persecutor of the Year Awards Tuesday. She shared the story of her kidnapping and escape with the group of religious freedom advocates gathered at a Capitol Hill hotel where the top three persecutors of 2021 were named and included the country of Nigeria.
“We were all sleeping and my friend woke me up,” she recalled. “I looked at her and I went back to sleep. But she touched me and woke me up a second time so I listened and the ground was shaking and I can hear gunshots outside of the gate. Mind you, you have to walk about six minutes to get to our dormitory where we are sleeping from the campus area and that’s where the gate was.”
As “the floor was just shaking and everywhere was just scary,” Bishara asked her friend what was going on. Bishara’s friend informed her that “the Boko Haram terrorist people are here.”
“The first thing I thought of is how my brothers and my mom will get to safety,” she said. “Usually, whenever Boko Haram people are attacking a village, people just leave their homes and go to spend the night in the bushes until morning when they can clearly see everything, then they come back to their houses.”
Bishara said that as she and her friend “were praying for God’s protection on our family,” “one man came in dressed in a soldier uniform.” While she didn’t realize it at first, Bishara eventually discovered that Boko Haram terrorists “usually take the forms of soldiers because soldiers are known to protect people and that’s how they deceive us to stay in one place.”
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