NIGERIA, AFRICA — Mary*, 20 years old, was in church when Fulani militants attacked. In her village in northwestern Nigeria, there is always the threat of attacks from Islamic extremists. However, this does not prepare the community for the reality of experiencing an attack.
They attack Christians because we worship Jesus and they want to expel us from here. They always come on motorcycles, sometimes 50, 100 or even 200 motorcycles to attack a village. This is just one of the many groups that attacks Christians in this region of Africa. When they started shooting, we ran. I heard my sister calling me. I didn’t know if I should run for her or keep running. I was on the way to kill her.
God gave me the strength and I was ready to die. Perhaps because I am young and a woman, they kidnapped me. They said if we didn’t go with them, they would kill us. Then they hit us and kept saying that our God was not alive, that he would not help us. Then they brought us to the camp.
The kidnappers demanded a high price for their rescue. It took two months of negotiations to free Mary and her friends. I was forced to cook for everyone, and when it was time to eat, they gave us the food of the animals. They forced me to sleep with them. The only thing I could do was to pray and ask God to put an end to my suffering.
But I remained firm and God strengthened me. Without explanation, one day they released us. My family celebrated my return. But my pain wasn’t over. I couldn’t be surrounded by people. I couldn’t sleep. The pain didn’t go away.
The pain, confusion and the marks of trauma became part of Mary’s life and her friends. Open Doors invited these young people to find the health and peace of Christ in our post-traumatic stress center.
I came to this place to heal. I thank God for the peace He has brought me and for all the people He has brought to my life. I feel so much better. I am not the only one, and I know I will not be the last. There are thousands of young people like me here in Africa. We need you to stand up for us.
Nigeria is one of the 11 countries where Christians suffer extreme persecution for their faith in Jesus. Your extreme love comes to them in the form of practical help.
I can’t thank God enough. My friends and I are strong. Thank you for the help you have given us. You have given us our future back. If I had not received help here, in the Post Traumatic Stress Center, I would have lost my life or I would have gone mad. But I saw the hands of God working in my life and doing miracles through people who brought health to our hearts.
Recently, Mary died due to complications related to a surgical intervention. The young woman wanted her testimony to reach Christians around the world.
*Name changed for security reasons
About Open Doors UK
For over 60 years, Open Doors UK has worked in the world’s most oppressive countries, empowering Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. Open Doors equips persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries through programs like Bible & Gospel Development, Women & Children Advancement, and Christian Community Restoration.
Source: Global News Alliance, Mary’s Testimony: A Christian Kidnapped in Nigeria by Extremists