Saturday, May 17, 2014

Christian Teen Whose Dad, Brother Slain by Boko Haram was Denied U.S. Visa

  • Nigerian Christian pastor and his son killed for refusing to deny their faith in Jesus Christ and embrace Islam;
  • Pastor's teen daughter tied up and left for dead between their two corpses;
  • Teen denied visa multiple times by U.S. State Department;
  • State Dept. refuses to acknowledge religious persecution in Nigeria, cites poverty as Boko Haram's motivation in spite of specific targeting of Christians, with thousands killed, dozens of churches destroyed just in the past three years;
  • More on Boko Haram here.

Christian Teen Whose Dad, Brother Slain by Boko Haram was Denied U.S. Visa
CNS News, May 14, 2014 (h/t Jihad Watch)

Deborah Peters at the Hudson Institute.
A 15-year-old girl who witnessed the murder of her father and teenage brother at the hands of Boko Haram terrorists says she decided to tell her story after the group kidnapped almost 300 schoolgirls last month in the same village in northern Nigeria where she grew up.

Deborah Peters, speaking Tuesday at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., recalled how in 2011 members of Boko Haram came to her home in Chibok, where she lived with her brother and father, who was a pastor of a local church.

“Three men knocked on our door, and then my brother opened the door for them,” Peters said. “And they asked him, ‘Where is your dad?’ And he told them, ‘My dad is in the bathroom taking a shower.’

The men said her father was “wasting their time.”

“So when they take [sic] him out of the bathroom, they told him that he should deny his faith,” Peters said. “He told them that he can’t deny his faith, so they told him that they were going to kill him if he didn’t deny his faith.

“But he told them that he should rather die than to go to hellfire,” Peters said. “So my dad refused to deny his faith, and then they shoot [sic] him three times in the chest.”

The Islamic terrorists also shot her brother three times, then tied up Deborah and left her lying between the two corpses.

“I was in shock,” Peters said.

Emmanuel Ogebe, the human rights attorney who helped Peters come to the United States, said that visa requests filed on Peters’ behalf were denied “multiple times,” with the State Department citing no family ties in the U.S. as the reason.

But Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, said the State Department only designated Boko Haram as a terrorist organization in November of last year and that the Obama administration claimed poverty, not religion, drove the group’s ideology.

“One of the problems is that the State Department has been reluctant to even talk about this in terms of religious persecution,” Shea said. “And, in fact, I’m thinking back to the Assistant Secretary for Africa and his speech in 2012, where he said that this was a problem of poor delivery of government services—that’s what was motivating Boko Haram—and that it was poverty.

“And then the response of the U.S. was all economic at that time,” Shea said, adding that the administration doesn’t recognize what’s happening in Nigeria “as the human rights crisis that it is. Maybe this incident and the Chibok girls will change that,” Shea said.

As the event concluded, Peters held up a sign and smiled broadly for the first time. It read “ #Bring Back My Sisters.”…