Christians targeted for forced marriages in Nigeria

Photo Credit: Susan Elden/DFID

Nigeria (Mission Network News) A recent United Nations report found that in Nigeria, Boko Haram specifically targets Christians and other religious minorities for slavery and forced marriages. Among certain minority groups, as many as three out of four women are forced into marriage, even though consent to marriage is required under Nigerian law.

It’s a story many Nigerian girls and women are all too familiar with. Greg Musselman of Voice of the Martyrs Canada recounts the story of Lena,* “a 14-year-old girl had become a Christian from a Muslim background. In fact, her father was an Imam, a leader in the mosque. Through the witness of her friends and hearing the message of Jesus, she made the decision to follow Christ. As a 14-year-old girl, she knew that that was going to cause problems.”

She was right. When he learned of her conversion, her father physically abused her and forced her to marry a much older man. She held on to her faith, however, and within a year, had the marriage dissolved in court.

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