By BosNewsLife Africa Service
ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)– Two teenage Christian girls who were recently abducted by Islamic militants in Nigeria have escaped, Christian aid workers say.
The Voice Of the Martyrs (VOM) aid and advocacy group said it is providing assistance to the two sisters, identified as Kamka, 19, and Naya, 16.
VOM said “radical Muslims” believed to be from the Boko Haram group, “invaded their home” recently. More details were not provided amid security concerns.
“The armed terrorists entered their brother’s room and shot him in the hand before demanding to know where the girls’ father was. When they realized the two sisters were not married and their father was not home, they took the girls by force,” VOM said in a statement.
Boko Haram “has declared war on Christians in Nigeria, frequently attacking Christian villages, burning Christians’ houses, and murdering indiscriminately” as part of its self declared aim to establish an Islamic state, according to VOM investigators.
“They also kidnap teenage girls and force them to convert and marry Boko Haram members.”
More than 200 Christian school girls remain missing after they were abducted by the same group from a boarding school in the northern town of Chibok on April 14.
Kamka and Naya, who are not related to those school girls, were forced to “walk through the woods at gunpoint,” VOM said.
“The terrorists immediately put them to work fetching water and cooking. A few days later, the girls were told that both of them were to be married.”
Naya reportedly protested “We’re too young,” but the local leader allegedly showed them his daughter, a girl of 7 or 8, who was already married.
FORCED TO MARRY
“If we refused to cooperate, we would be killed,” Naya reportedly told a VOM worker. “The man whom I was forced to marry took me. He picked up his gun and a knife and threatened to murder me if I continued to resist.”
The sisters “cried and prayed together”, unsure of what would become of them. “But after two weeks, a Muslim woman took pity on them. While fetching water with the girls, she showed them an escape route and told them to run away,” VOM said.
The girls escaped under cover of darkness, knocked on the door of the first house, where a Muslim man allowed them to bathe and eat, and then had his sister take them to a nearby Christian village.
“The girls were traumatized by their experience but are now doing reasonably well. Since it is unsafe for them to return to their home, VOM is providing care for them at a safe house through one of the VOM project partners,” the group explained.
“I thank God that He has saved us from the hands of these bad people,” Naya was quoted as saying.
“NOT AFRAID ANYMORE”
“Everything is now behind me, and I’m not afraid anymore. I only want to look forward now.”
Kamka said she was thankful for God’s protection. “I am very grateful that many Christians pray for me,” she said. “Despite what I’ve been through, I still have faith in God.”
VOM said it had urged its supporters to “pray for those kidnapped by Boko Haram” and other Christians in Nigeria who are under attack.
At least hundreds of girls are kidnapped each year in Nigeria, according to rights activists.