For a Nigerian teenager who was raped and tormented by Boko Haram for nearly a year, as she refused to renounce her faith in Jesus Christ, her nightmare didn’t end when she was rescued and returned to her village.
Though she is now home, Esther, as described by Open Doors USA, is facing rejection and abuse for being a “Boko Haram woman.”
Esther was held in captivity in northern Nigeria for close to a year after her village was raided and her father was killed by Boko Haram radicals.
The Christian woman was pressured but refused to abandon her faith in Jesus, for which she was punished for and raped multiple times by different men.
When she was finally rescued by soldiers and returned back to her village, however, she was treated in much the same way as many women who have been forced to bear Boko Haram children.
Family and friends turned her away, believing that her baby would inherit the father’s “bad blood,” a belief associated with witchcraft that is still prevalent in parts of the country. They even named the child “Boko” though her mother named her Rebekah.
Scores of other women that have been forced to marry Boko Haram fighters or have been impregnated as a result of rape have shared of similar experiences, as reported by NPR and many others.
At least 3,000 women and girls are believed to have been kidnapped by the terror group since it began carrying out its raids in 2009. The terrorists, who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, have been killing Christians and other civilians throughout the country, also expanding their raids into Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
Women and children who have been abused by Boko Haram have sometimes also been raped and betrayed by soldiers who are supposed to be defending them, a major report by Amnesty International revealed in May.
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Source: Christian Post