Fleeing Evil: On The Run From Boko Haram
Religion & Liberty Online

Fleeing Evil: On The Run From Boko Haram

Those schoolgirls captured by Boko Haram? Most are still missing. A boys’ school was bombed. Boko Haram says it wasn’t them, but the people don’t believe them.

In Nigeria, for many people, life is about staying one step ahead of Boko Haram, trying to safeguard their children from getting swept up in the claws of this evil entity.

In neighboring Adamawa state, almost 9,500 displaced people now live in a giant camp — one of five for displaced people in the area. They’ve found refuge in what was a youth center outside Yola, the state capital. The buildings are crammed full of residents. Newcomers are being housed in large green tents.

The people beg their government for help, but Nigerian officials seem unable to do anything. Since girls are still being targeted, many parents are now keeping their girls from school. In return, Boko Haram is now going after their sons.

The group [Boko Haram], whose name means Western education is sinful, says boys should receive only a Quranic education. In earlier raids, some have had their throats slit as they slept in their dorm beds. Girls are warned to give up their books, go home and get married.

The army announced last month that the missing schoolgirls would soon be released as part of a deal with Boko Haram. The group rejects the claim. Its leader tauntingly insists the captives have been married off to his fighters after converting to Islam.

It appears that Boko Haram kidnapped dozens more girls just weeks ago, to which the Nigerian minister of foreign affairs responded, “There is still negotiating going on and we expect a lot of progress to be made.”

I doubt that any parents in Nigerian are putting much faith in that.

Read, “For Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram, A Desperate Life On The Run” at NPR.

Elise Hilton

Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.