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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Amanda Casanova

Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world

Six girls and two adults from a Christian high school in Nigeria have been released, according to the Christian Post.

The six girls and two high school staff members were abducted in early October at gunpoint from Engravers’ College in Kakau Daji village. Muslim Fulani herdsmen demanded a ransom payment and later released the eight abductees at the end of October.

“Several people prayed in churches and mosques,” Ohemu Fredrick, one of the girls’ parents, told Morning Star News“Through their prayers, God brought us help. God used a former governor of Kaduna state to assist us.”

Fredrick did not identify the governor or detail the amount of the ransom.

Another parent, who chose not to be identified, said the hostages were reportedly tortured each time the Muslim Fulani herdsmen called the parents.

“They were torturing them each time they called us (parents) so that we could hear them,” the parent told Punch Newspaper. “They said they were being fed rice mixed with palm oil while in captivity.”

The hostages were freed and then picked up by police.

“We are relieved that this criminal violation of the right to liberty is over and that they are all back safely. The victims, most of whom are minors, and their families will now be focusing on recovering from this undeserved trauma. We appeal for considerate reporting of their ordeal and respect for their privacy," said Samuel Aruwan, state commissioner for internal security and home affairs.

“As we continue to combat banditry, kidnapping and other crimes, the Kaduna State Government urges all our communities not to give comfort to criminals. The state government calls for vigilance in all our communities and continued cooperation with the security agencies in this battle to secure our state and all who live in it,” Aruwan added.

The school where the hostages were taken has about 100 students.

Photo courtesy: McBarth Obeya/Pexels

The parents of a Canadian 6-year-old girl have filed a lawsuit against the school board, principal and teacher of the school where their daughter was allegedly being taught “there’s no such thing as girls and boys.”

According to the Christian Post, the teacher at Devonshire Community Public School played a YouTube video for the class on gender called, “He, She, and They?!? – Gender: Queer Kid Stuff #2.”

The mother of the 6-year-old, Pamela Buffone, and her husband initially filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal against the school system after they said their daughter began worrying that she was not female after she watched the video.

During the school lesson, the teacher drew a “gender spectrum” on the whiteboard and asked the children to pick where they were on the spectrum. The Buffone’s daughter chose the furthest end of the spectrum marked “girl,” but the teacher allegedly told the class that “girls are not real, and boys are not real.”

“At the age of 6, she was just figuring out that animals are divided into boys and girls; when she met a new dog on the street, for example, she would ask ‘is it a boy or a girl?’” Buffone said.

“So she was very confused by what her teacher was saying and was struggling to understand what it meant for her as a girl.”

Last week, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms filed an amended application on behalf of the Buffones, saying that the girl’s rights were infringed.

 “It’s a terrible message to be sending to girls or anyone, because it undermines the value and dignity we have as humans by separating what it means to be human from our biological reality," Buffone said.

"It's becoming increasingly apparent that words like 'inclusive' don't mean what most of us think they should. We should be making gender non-conforming kids feel welcome, not telling the majority of kids that they are 'less than' because they don't have some unique and celebrated identity," Buffone asserted.

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Anna Erastova