Premier Christian News reported how Mary Katambi, one of the girls abducted by Boko Haram from her school in Chibok has graduated university with a degree in accounting. She was given a private scholarship (not by BtJ) to make this possible. Her parents expressed pride and gratitude. At one time, they feared they would never see her again. Now their daughter is the first in their family to receive an education.
Boko Haram has the stated goal of ending ‘Western style education’ in Nigeria. The many attacks on schools, both by terrorists and bandits, have meant many children, girls in particular, have dropped out of education. Mary’s graduation is therefore not just a personal victory, but also a symbolic one. Nigerian girls are worthy of education and a chance in life to flourish, and we should not allow terror groups to stop this. As we wrote in an earlier article on this topic, no education for girls often means early (teenage) marriage and motherhood, which carries a high risk of maternal death, and getting trapped in a cycle of poverty. Education has the power to break this cycle of human suffering.
Back to Jerusalem also recognises the importance of education for those impacted by persecution. That is why we have a special fund for the children of persecuted Christians who have been impacted by the persecution of their parents, our Martyrs Scholarship Fund. We help these children to stay in school when their parents can no longer afford their education. This can happen because parents are fined, lose their jobs or have their assets frozen because they lead church services or evangelise. Currently we are supporting a young girl who had to flee persecution with her mother, who was a Christian leader in a closed nation. We have also supported children of Chinese pastors and missionaries.
However, providing the means for education is just one part of the puzzle. Mary Katambi was not the only Chibok survivor who was given a scholarship. But some of the other girls were so severely traumatised, they were unable to complete their education. Traumatising young people is another way in which persecution harms the church. Therefore, as well as supporting education, they also need the prayers and support of the family of God to heal from their fear and hurt.
Today we invite you to stand with us and support children of our persecuted brothers and sisters in their education, both in prayer and with finance. Click here for our Martyrs Scholarship Fund.