Mother’s Letter to Leah Sharibu on Her 20th Birthday

Most of her teenage years were spent in captivity, all because of her courageous faith in Jesus.

NIGERIA — This month, Leah Sharibu from Nigeria turns 20. Her teenage years were spent mostly in captivity after bravely refusing to renounce Jesus after she was among more than 100 girls kidnapped in February 2018.

Open Doors caught up with her mother, Rebecca, to find out how she and her husband are doing as they hold onto the hope that they’ll one day be reunited with their daughter.


Dear Leah. This is your mother, Leah. I send you my greetings in the name of the Lord. I give thanks to God. May the Lord protect you, wherever you are. We pray for you, day and night.

On the 18th of February 2018, more than 100 girls were kidnapped by Islamic militants in Yobi State, Nigeria. A month later, all but one were released.


All the parents hurried to the school to see their daughter, but Leah was not among them. Leah was not set free. I asked the girls that came back, “Why did Leah not come home?” They replied, “We were all gathered, and they asked us who is Christian?” Leah raised her hand, but we rebuked her and said we were all Muslims. But she refused. She raised her hand and said she is a Christian. Then they threatened her: “If you refuse to accept Islam, we will keep you here.” She said, “Okay, I will not accept Islam because I am not a Muslim. I will remain here.”

On the 14th of May, Leah turned 20. Most of her teenage years were spent in captivity, all because of her courageous faith in Jesus.


I am thankful to Leah for the decision she took. Her stand in her faith makes me proud. We never cease to pray for her. Nothing is too big for God to do. One day, she will come back.

Dear fellow believers, you have been praying for Leah. Please continue to pray. May the Lord deliver and rescue her. Thank you.

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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.


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