The abduction of more than 250 young women by the Boko Haram fighters in Nigeria has prompted “profound concern” from the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. In his letter to Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, Tveit encouraged “swift and peaceful” action to restore these students back to their homes.
The letter from the WCC general secretary was issued on Monday, 5 May.
“This tragic situation is devastating not only to the immediate community, but also to all Nigerians praying and working for peace. It touches the World Council of Churches directly, as many who have lost their daughters are members of our church families in Nigeria,” said Tveit.
He added that the WCC’s concern for the abducted Nigerian students is “intensified in the face of increasing global sexual exploitation of girls and women, and the possibility that these abducted students may become victims of just such injustice and violence.”
“Following the rescue of these children for which we pray, the impact of exploitation may require long-term accompaniment of the young women and their families by the Nigerian government, faith communities and local networks of care and support,” he added.
Assuring the WCC’s support to the Nigerian government, Tveit said that the WCC is ready to assist in “mobilizing the inter-religious and international communities to seek effective and peaceful means towards safely restoring these students to their homes, loved ones and communities.”