See. Change. Let's do something that can't be ignored.

See. Change.

On 19 February 2018 Boko Haram kidnapped more than 100 girls from a secondary school in the town of Dapchi, southern Yobe State in Nigeria. At the sound of gunshots, one of the girls, Leah Sharibu, ran towards the compound gate – not knowing that this was exactly where the Boko Haram fighters were waiting. Leah was bundled onto a truck and driven away.

Michelle Obama raises awareness of the Chibok schoolgirl's kidnapping in 2014 using the hastag # Bring Back Our Girls on the official FLOTUS Twitter account

The terrorist group Boko Haram was brought to many people's attention for the first time in 2014 when Michelle Obama and other celebrities used #BringBackOurGirls to raise awareness of another kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria. Dapchi and Chibok are both situated in the north-east of Nigeria, bordering Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

 

By 21 March each of the kidnapped girls had been returned – except for one. As the only Christian among them, Leah refused to convert to Islam, and it is this which led Boko Haram to keep her in captivity.

Leah Sharibu – and countless women and girls like her who live in northern Nigeria and many other parts of the world – is doubly vulnerable to persecution because of her gender and her faith. Leah was kidnapped because she was a girl. She remains captive today because she is a Christian.

Open Doors works in over 60 countries across the world where Christians are persecuted for their faith. When we look at the world around us, we cannot ignore the fact that a great number of religious minorities are especially vulnerable because their faith intersects with other marginalising factors and identities such as gender.

Shadow Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Emily Thornberry MP, recorded a message at the launch of Open Doors’ World Watch List – an annual report highlighting the 50 worst countries in the world in which to be a Christian. After expressing her concern that the persecution of Christians has increased around the world once more, Emily called on the UK to give asylum to Asia Bibi – a Christian woman recently acquitted after spending 10 years on death row for blasphemy – saying, “we should stand against the mob…there are certain things that are more important than anything else”.

The persecution of religious minorities is a growing trend worldwide. Evidence is pointing to the way in which religious persecution is often exacerbated by other marginalising factors such as being of the ‘wrong’ gender.

Open Doors’ vision is that every woman who is persecuted for her faith and gender is seen, valued and empowered to reaach her God-given potential. That’s why we’ve launched the new See. Change. campaign, to restore the hope, dignity and identity of women who pay twice the price for following Jesus.

So let’s do something that is visible, engaging and can’t be ignored. We are asking Christians up and down the country to sign your name on a piece of cloth, which will then be sewn with thousands of others into a huge, handmade petition, that will be presented to the UK Government in November. We would love it if you could take part to:

  • Bring an end to the silence that isolates persecuted Christian women
  • Ensure that our sisters are seen and recognised in UK government policy on sexual violence in conflict
  • Stand as a church in prayer and unity for these courageous women.

Visit the Open Doors website to find out more.

Open Doors Campaign Logo: See. Change.

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published this page in Articles 2019-03-04 14:06:36 +0000