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13 May 2014

Press release

Christians called to unite in prayer for missing girls

Christians called to unite in prayer for missing girls

Churches up and down the country are being urged to pray as video footage suggests that many of the 200 girls abducted in northern Nigeria have been forcibly converted to Islam.

As military forces from other countries, including the US Marines, lend their help in the search for the missing girls, the Evangelical Alliance and The National Day of Prayer and Worship have joined forces to encourage Christians across the country to take up their most powerful weapon of prayer in the fight against Boko Haram.

Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, said: "As evangelical Christians we believe that all people everywhere are created equal and in the image of a loving God. As the Evangelical Alliance, we are also passionate about the importance of civil liberty, the right of every human being to an education and the freedom of every person to choose what they believe. But this is not just about freedoms. 

"At the centre of this is a heartbreaking story of precious girls who have been snatched from the schools in which they were seeking an education. We might sign all the petitions and use all the hashtags we want, but as Christians our first response must be to pray to a God who is able to do all things – even in the midst of hopelessness and despair." 

Yesterday, Islamist militants Boko Haram released a video showing around 130 of the girls – who were kidnapped on 14 April and are being held while the terrorist group demands the release of imprisoned militants in exchange. 

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is seen saying in the video: "These girls, these girls you occupy yourselves with … we have indeed liberated them. These girls have become Muslims." 

NDOP and EA logosConvener of The National Day of Prayer and Worship Dr Jonathan Oloyede, who converted to Christianity from Islam, urged Christians everywhere to pray for the girls, their families and Nigeria. "This is a heartbreaking situation and as a persecuted Christian convert from Islam, I urge you to use this situation to pray for all those who are persecuted and oppressed based on religion. 

"The situation is constantly changing and I am grateful to the media for keeping the story in the news. This should enable the Church to keep up-to-date with the events as they unfold as a subject for real and fervent prayer. I join with national and church leaders to condemn this brutal violation of freedom and justice." 

He added: "No one should be forced into any religion and it is my prayer and hope that every one of these schoolgirls will be found safe and alive. We pray for displaced communities within Borno state, Maiduguri and surrounding towns. We pray for comfort to all family members in anguish, shock and distress over the fate of their girls. We pray for the Nigerian government and all supporting foreign countries to deploy all necessary resources to find these young people. Pray, pray, and pray again because with God nothing is impossible." 

Yemi Adedeji, director of the Evangelical Alliance's One People Commission – made up of key denominational leaders from across ethnic minorities – said: "It has been heartening to see how people from all backgrounds and ethnicities across the world have rallied together, demanding the safe return of 'our girls'. As the Church in this nation, we firmly believe that it is by working together and praying together that we can see what might seem impossible become a reality."

The Evangelical Alliance and The National Day of Prayer and Worship are calling on Christians to pray for each of the girls by name. A list of 180 of their names follows this prayer written by Fred Drummond, director of prayer at the Evangelical Alliance:

Prayer for Nigerian captives

God of grace and comfort, we pray for your mercy.
We pray for the girls brutally kidnapped in Nigeria.
We ask that you might be with them.
In their times of deepest darkness, be a bright beacon of hope.
We pray for your protection of them and ask that they may be freed quickly.
Lord, guide those searching for them.
Grant wisdom and discernment and perseverance.
We pray for the parents, family and friends of the girls.
Lord, strengthen them in their time of sorrow and fear and give them hope and the consolation of your presence.
Lord, we pray for all victims of violence: those who feel abandoned and forgotten; the nameless abused.
May they know that you love them and that others care.
In Jesus' name
Amen.

1. Deborah Abge Chrstian
2. Awa Abge
3. Hauwa Yirma
4. Asabe Manu
5. Mwa Malam pogu
6. Patiant Dzakwa
7. Saraya Mal. Stover
8. Mary Dauda
9. Gloria Mainta
10. Hanatu Ishaku
11. Gloria Dama
12. Tabitha Pogu
13. Maifa Dama
14. Ruth kollo
15. Esther Usman
16. Awa James
17. Anthonia Yahonna
18. Kume Mutah
19. Aisha Ezekial
20. Nguba Buba
21. Kwanta Simon
22. Kummai Aboku
23. Esther Markus
24. Hana Stephen
25. Rifkatu Amos
26. Rebecca Mallum
27. Blessing Abana
28. Ladi Wadai
29. Tabitha Hyelampa
30. Ruth Ngladar
31. Safiya Abdu
32. Na'omi Yahonna
33. Solomi Titus
34. Rhoda John
35. Rebecca Kabu
36. Christy Yahi
37. Rebecca Luka
38. Laraba John
39. Saratu Markus
40. Mary Usman
41. Debora Yahonna
42. Naomi Zakaria
43. Hanatu Musa
44. Hauwa Tella
45. Juliana Yakubu
46. Suzana Yakubu
47. Saraya Paul
48. Jummai Paul
49. Mary Sule
50. Jummai John
51. Yanke Shittima
52. Muli Waligam
53. Fatima Tabji
54. Eli Joseph
55. Saratu Emmanuel
56. Deborah Peter
57. Rahila Bitrus
58. Luggwa Sanda
59. Kauna Lalai
60. Lydia Emmar
61. Laraba Maman
62. Hauwa Isuwa
63. Confort Habila
64. Hauwa Abdu
65. Hauwa Balti
66. Yana Joshua
67. Laraba Paul
68. Saraya Amos
69. Glory Yaga
70. Na'omi Bitrus
71. Godiya Bitrus
72. Awa Bitrus
73. Na'omi Luka
74. Maryamu Lawan
75. Tabitha Silas
76. Mary Yahona
77. Ladi Joel
78. Rejoice Sanki
79. Luggwa Samuel
80. Comfort Amos
81. Saraya Samuel
82. Sicker Abdul
83. Talata Daniel
84. Rejoice Musa
85. Deborah Abari
86. Salomi Pogu
87. Mary Amor
88. Ruth Joshua
89. Esther John
90. Esther Ayuba
91. Maryamu Yakubu
91. Zara Ishaku
93. Maryamu Wavi
94. Lydia Habila
95. Laraba Yahonna
96. Na'omi Bitrus
97. Rahila Yahanna
98. Ruth Lawan
99. Ladi Paul
100. Mary Paul
101. Esther Joshua
102. Helen Musa
103. Margret Watsai
104. Deborah Jafaru
105. Filo Dauda
106. Febi Haruna
107. Ruth Ishaku
108. Racheal Nkeki
109. Rifkatu Soloman
110. Mairama yahaya
111. Saratu Dauda
112. Jinkai Yama
113. Margret Shettima
114. Yana yidau
115. Grace Paul
116. Amina Ali
117. Palmata Musa
118. Awagana Musa
119. Pindar Nuhu
120. Yana Pogu
121. Saraya Musa
122. Hauwa Joseph
123. Hauwa kwakwi
125. Hauwa Musa
126. Maryamu Musa
127. Maimuna Usman
128. Rebeca Joseph
129. Liyatu Habitu
130. Rifkatu Yakubu
131. Naomi Philimon
132. Deborah Abbas
133. Ladi Ibrahim
134. Asabe Ali
135. Maryamu Bulama
136. Ruth Amos
137. Mary Ali
138. Abigail Bukar
139. Deborah Amos
140. Saraya Yanga
141. Kauna Luka
142. Christiana Bitrus
143. Yana Bukar
144. Hauwa peter
145. HadizaYakubu
146. Lydia Simon
147. Ruth Bitrus
148. Mary Yakubu
149. Lugwa Mutah
150. Muwa Daniel
151. Hanatu Nuhu
152. Monica Enoch
153. Margret Yama
154. Docas yakubu
155. Rhoda peter
156. Rifkatu Galang
157. Saratu Ayuba
158. Naomi Adamu
159. Hauwa Ishaya
160. Rahap Ibrahim
162. Deborah Soloman
163. Hauwa Mutah
164. Hauwa Takai
165. SerahSamuel
166. Aishatu Musa
167. Aishatu Grema
168. Hauwa Nkeki
169. Hamsatu Abubakar
170. Mairama Abubakar
171. Hauwa Wule
172. Ihyi Abdu
173. Hasana Adamu
174. Rakiya Kwamtah
175. Halima Gamba
176. Aisha Lawan
177. Kabu Malla
178. Yayi Abana
179. Falta Lawan
180. Kwadugu Manu

Media Enquiries

Danny Webster
Tel: 07766 444 650
Email: d.webster@eauk.org

Notes to Editors

The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. Visit www.eauk.org for more information.