News and Current Events
Who Will Pray for the 2,000 Lives Lost in Nigeria?
Written by Cynthia Onyejiji | January 14, 2015
“As terrified residents scattered into bushes in Baga town and surrounding villages, the gunmen unloaded motorcycles from their trucks and followed in pursuit.
Residents hid under scant brush. Bullets pierced them.
Some sought refuge in their homes. They were burned alive.
Many who tried to cross into neighboring Chad drowned while trying to swim through Lake Chad. By the time the weapons went quiet, local officials reported death tolls ranging from hundreds to as many as 2,000 people.” (Aminu Abubakar and Faith Karimi/CNN)
Just like that, thousands of lives were taken in the most barbaric fashion imaginable. I wish I could say that these 2,000 Nigerians did not wake up to this reality, but they did. I wish I could say that human beings are not capable of committing such a heinous act, but they are. I wish I could say that these 2,000 lives mattered in some sentimental, substantial or sacred way to Boko Haram, but they didn’t.
And now, a few days after the Islamist terrorist group left its bloodiest print on the town of Baga and the surrounding area, the world remains silent, watching with bated breath. Too shocked to comment. Too desensitized to move. Who, then, will pray for the 2,000 lives lost? Who, then, will be the voice of those permanently silenced?
Two thousand people. Stolen. Their lives should matter.
For those who are unfamiliar with Boko Haram, it’s an Islamist militant group operating in northern Nigeria. Its reign of terror started in 2009 and continues today. Boko Haram’s end goal is to establish an Islamic nation. Its means is mass murder. Thus far, the group has not extended its arm of terror outside of Nigeria. However, it has made threats against neighboring and foreign countries like Cameroon and the United States.
As heinous as these acts have been, global leaders have remained frighteningly inactive. CNN reported: “There has been a reluctance to put boots on the ground unless there’s a direct national security threat to the West.”
What some have failed to realize is that this threat goes far beyond a North, South, East or West. This event is a threat against humanity. It is barbarism in its purest form, masked behind a fraudulent veil of religion. This tragedy affects us all on the most basic human level. So again, I ask, who will pray for the 2,000 lives lost? Who will be the voice of those permanently silenced?
I am personally connected to this story because my veins are filled with Nigerian blood. However, it is my human heart that is most affected. Nigeria is weeping. And Israel is weeping. And France is weeping. They need you. They need the world. They need a voice. In the face of tragedy, we can either question God and ask why He’s allowed such things to happen or we can turn to Him with our prayers and ask that He provide protection over our brothers and sisters suffering around the world. We must pray. Spread the word. Shine the light on these monsters hiding underneath the fabric of our world.
When people pray, God moves. But we must move too. We have to rise up, united, and say we won’t stand for this!
Two thousand people. Stolen. Their lives will forever matter.
And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:13-14)