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Rome Reports

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Kidnapped by Boko Haram: How a Nigerian woman managed to escape

It's impossible for Rebeca to hide her pain. She survived a living nightmare at the hands of Boko Haram terrorists.

The ordeal happened in 2014, but she remembers it as if it were yesterday. A group of jihadists unleashed a series of attacks in her Nigerian state of Borno. She tried to escape with her two children but was captured. When her son, Jonathan started to cry, the terrorists threw him into a nearby river. Rebeca helplessly saw him die. She believed her husband had been murdered along with other victims. 

Violent kidnappings, abuse and even rape became common. Boko Haram demanded Christians convert to Islam. Despite death threats, Rebeca kept her faith in Christ. 

Boko Haram Victim

“I can't blame God for what happened to me, because I don't think He played any part in it. After going through that, I feel more connected to Christ. I feel like Jesus loved me more than anyone else in the world. After witnessing Boko Haram's brutality, all the murders and how they torture people, well, only Christ can save you from that.”

Rebeca was raped by her kidnappers and became pregnant. Accepting her child, Cristobal – a living memory of her captivity – was not an easy task for her. 

Boko Haram Victim

“At first, my love for him was blocked. I didn't want him with me. But then, when I was freed, a group of people supported me. They showed me how to accept and love him. Now he's following a journey of faith.”

Rebeca and her children managed to escape from her captors. When an attack on the military base caused confusion, she saw an opportunity to break free. Eventually she discovered her husband was still alive. The experience was horrific, but even amid the pain, she has forgiven her attackers. Now, she thanks God for the little things in life.

Boko Haram Victim

“The suffering I experienced when I was kidnapped by Boko Haram was horrible. No one should have to go through that, but now that I'm free, I thank God that I can sleep, eat, drink, pray. I can do positive things.”

Rebeca was there when red lights transformed Rome's Colosseum. In fact, she participated in the event, which was meant to shed light on persecuted Christians. There are countless stories just like Rebeca's that show the plight thousands of Christians have endured defending their faith.