Nigerian Pastor Freed After Seven Months in Boko Haram Captivity

A Nigerian pastor who was abducted by the Boko Haram Islamic terrorist group seven months ago was finally freed on Sunday and said his captors demanded that he convert to Islam. 

Pastor Moses Oyeleke of Living Faith Church (also known as Winners Chapel) was released along with Ndagilaya Ibrahim Umar, a teacher at a government science secondary school in Nigeria’s northeast Borno state.

According to Sahara Reporters, the captives’ release was facilitated by the Department of State Service and the Initiative for Peacebuilding Movement and the Kalthum Foundation for Peace.

Oyeleke was abducted on April 10 along with National Youth Service Corps member Abraham Amuta while on their way from Maiduguri to Chibok.

On Monday, while visiting Borno’s deputy governor’s office, Oyeleke spoke with reporters about his time in captivity.

“We were on our way to Chibok when they caught us and took us to Yola; from there, they took a detour and finally took us to Sambisa [forest],” Oyeleke said, according to The Cable newspaper and The Punch. “It was the two of us, myself and my brother, who was not released.”

The pastor said he was promised that when discussions are finished that Amuta and Umar’s older sister would be released by Boko Haram.

Oyeleke said he is “very happy” and his heart is filled with joy to be able to see his family, friends, and associates again. Oyeleke assured that he “stayed peaceful” with his abductors throughout the seven-month ordeal even though his captors demanded that he become Muslim.

“Many times they have requested me to convert to Islam,” he was quoted as saying.

“Their preachers had preached to me a lot of times. But you know, when you have wisdom, you relate with people in a way that would not lead to quarrel. When they came to preach, I paid attention to everything they said. And when they asked me questions about things that I knew would cause problems if I respond, I always told them I don’t know, so that I didn’t say things that would offend them.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith