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ITS CONNECTIONS International Theological Seminary

El Monte, California/November 2014

Persecuted, but not forsaken


od has saved me from their hands several times, and I am here to tell the story,” theology student James Njehntengazoka Danladi shared with classmates about the Islamist terrorists who are persecuting Christians in his homeland in northern Nigeria. Danladi had just inspired classmates at ITS chapel with words “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are from 2 Corinthians 4 when he received news that his close friend perplexed, but not in despair; in ministry had been brutally killed Oct. 1. “Boko Haram came persecuted, but not forsaken; cast into his house and killed him and his wife,” Danladi said. The down, but not destroyed.” attackers used a machete on the three children after raping the (2 Corinthians 4:8-9) eldest, a 15-yr-old adopted Muslim daughter. A month later, the head of Baptist churches in Nasarawa, Benue and Abuja states told Danladi that Boko Haram burned down 17 Baptist churches in Lafia villages in Nasarawa. Eight pastors and their families, all of whom Danladi knows because they were former students at his home seminary in Kaduna, are now refugees. The Salafist extremist group Boko Haram captured international attention in April when it kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from their dormitories in the northern Nigerian town of Chibok. Even First Lady Michelle Obama and celebrities led publicity efforts behind the Bring Back Our Girls campaign. But the relentless toll of recent Boko Haram violence is far bloodier and more ruthless than U.S. media can tolerably publish, and Danladi thinks there needs to be greater awareness in the U.S. of the realities of this form of terrorism. “It was tough and bloody, it was breath-taking, and we almost gave up,” said Danladi, whose wife has been keeping watch over his friend’s children at a hospital in Kaduna. One child, age 13, has died, while the 15-year-old and a 7-year-old continue to be treated in the hospital. Danladi plans to go to Nigeria in December to seek and secure arrangements for their future care and financial security, as well as to provide emotional support to his own wife and two young children. Boko Haram has claimed more than 11,000 lives since its violent uprising in July 2009, and this year it has markedly escalated its terrorist attacks. Since January, Boko Haram has killed more people than in the previous five years of the conflict combined, data from the Council on Foreign Relations show. From a global perspective, Boko Haram violence has perpetrated more deaths than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Continued on page 3)


CUMULATIVE WEEKLY VIOLENT DEATHS IN NIGERIA SINCE MAY 2011 To avoid double counting, incidents perpetrated by Boko Haram alone are distinguished from those by Boko Haram and state perpetrators. (Source: Council on Foreign Relations, Nigeria Security Tracker)

Uganda update Dr. David McKinley reports on his visit to Uganda and the ministry of ITS alumnus Joseph Ojulo.

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ITS Connections  

ITS Connections is published biannually by the communications department of International Theological Seminary.

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