Leah Sharibu’s pastor has brought Muslims and Christians together in Dapchi to pray and call for her release.
The Rev Daniel Auta, pastor of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) said that Muslims and Christians had united in opposition to Boko Haram who had refused to release Leah when they freed over 100 of schoolmates.
“All over Dapchi, we have all been organizing prayer sessions. All the churches in Dapchi are praying,” he said.
“We initially did three days of prayer and fasting. After that, we organised special prayers and fasted for three more days, which was concluded on Wednesday.
“Still, we have continued to pray in our various houses,” the Rev Auta said.
“The Muslims in Dapchi have been encouraging and supporting us consistently with prayers on this issue. We have always been living in cordial relationship here in Dapchi as there is no problem whatsoever between Christians and Muslims in the town,” he added.
“We have also been praying for the parents and family of Leah for divine support and encouragement.” Auta said. “We know that people all over the world are very anxious about this girl. We are hopeful that God would touch the heart of those holding her.”
The southern youth wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) has joined in the call for the releaseof Leah Sharibu. Oluchukwu Nnabugwu, president of the Association said: “Religion is a personal decision and should not be a determining factor for the safety of anyone in the country as being imposed by the Islamic group, Boko Haram.”
Leah’s father, Nata, (short for Nathaniel) said: “I am very grateful to all churches and indeed all Nigerians who are supporting us with their prayers.”
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has praised Leah for standing for her faith and refusal to denounce Jesus Christ and convert to Islam, despite her challenging environment and intimidations by the radical Islamic jihadi terror group.
The association denounced comments by people who said Leah should have denounced Christ and repented later. Such people have no understanding the tenets of Christianity, the association said.
The Rev Jonah Samson, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) CAN President, said Christianity is all about conviction and not denials. “In the aspect of people saying that Leah should have denounced her faith, it is not possible. If you know what Christian beliefs is all about, it is all about conviction and denial is not part of the tenets of Christianity,” he said.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos