A group of girls from a school in Nigeria with Brethren ties have been released. Many of the girls who were abducted by Boko Haram in 2014 were affiliated with EYN (Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) although the group included both Muslim and Christian girls, according to the Church of the Brethren Newsline in 2014.
The Church of the Brethren is one of six major groups, including the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, who trace their spiritual heritage to the German Anabaptist/Radical Pietist religious leader Alexander Mack.
Below is a portion of a story from this week’s Church of the Brethren Newsline. Click here for the complete article.
Group of Chibok schoolgirls are released from captivity
The Nigerian government says 21 of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in April 2014 have been freed in negotiations with the insurgents, according to reports from media outlets today including the Associated Press and ABC News. The negotiations were carried out with help from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government.
Church of the Brethren staff have received confirmation of this news from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). EYN president Joel S. Billi sent confirmation after he talked with Chibok parents and the Bring Back Our Girls organization in Nigeria. The majority of the girls abducted from the school in Chibok are from Nigerian Brethren families.
“We receive this news with great joy,” said Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service. “As a church we have been in active prayer for these individuals since their abduction. Congregations continue to pray specifically for each girl. Jesus said that we should pray always and not lose heart and we have steadfastly been doing so and we will continue to do so.
“We also express gratitude to all parties involved in this negotiated release. We know that both the IRC and the Swiss government have been actively involved in working toward peace and relief in Nigeria in many ways, and we are not surprised that they have been involved in this settlement.
“We do continue to call for the release of all individuals held against their will,” Wittmeyer said, “not just those from Chibok.”
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