The Board of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Zion Church worldwide has petitioned all communities of faith, who call upon the Sovereign God, to join the Church in a day of fasting and praying on May 30, 2014 for the release of 276 school girls abducted recently by the Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria.
The Church wants all people to use the day to petition God to visit the world with His amazing power and grace to effect the resolution of the grave insult to the humanity of the Nigerian school girls and the wretched grief of their families, and to give the world a witness that will urge upon the hearts of humankind the cessation of exploitation, abuse, and other wickedness toward disenfranchised people all over the world.
In a declaration signed earlier this week by the president of the Board of Bishops of the AME Zion Church, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Seth O. Lartey and all of the bishops of the Church both active and retired, the Church condemned the terrorist act by Boko Haram and decreed Friday, May 30, 2014, a day of fasting and prayer in the name of the one God “who is in us all and above us all” in order to invite the intervention of the Almighty for the release of the Nigerian school girls.
In release of the girls, the militants have demanded the release of their members detained by the Nigerian government.
Boko Haram terrorist group has been raging terror against Christians and the government in Africa’s largest economy for a long period. Boko Haram, which name in the Hausa language means “Western education is bad,” is terrorizing to make northern Nigeria or the entire nation an Islamic nation.
But the recent abduction of the school girls and the bombing of churches and public institutions by the terrorist group have triggered global condemnation with the United Sates at the center.
The “Bring Our Girls Back” campaign has dominated the social media including facbook and twitter, but the Boko Haram has remained adamant despite threats by the US and other western governments to join in the war to defeat the group.
In their proclamation, the AME Zion Church applauded the efforts of the Obama Administration and other world leaders to lend support to the Nigerian government in their attempt to rescue the girls; but noted “our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ taught us that to dispel some evils requires more than power and might, but are not affected “except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21).”
The Church, however, called upon authorized governments and other authorities throughout the world to engage in sustained, meaningful endeavor to affect justice for the disenfranchised and to end economic exploitation of the weak and poor.
The proclamation stated: “whereas, after three weeks, 276 of the girls are still missing and are reported to be suffering unconscionable abuse and denigration of body and spirit; and whereas, we feel the anguish of the parents, siblings, and friends whose loved ones have been captured; whereas, this horrific action takes place during this period of history when exploitation of women, children, the poor, and the otherwise vulnerable is accepted by many astound perspective, the justifiable use of strength, and even aligned with Christian principles.”
Active bishops of the A.M.E. Zion Church who signed the proclamation are: the president of the Board of Bishops- Rt. Rev. Dr. Seth O. Lartey, senior Bishop- Rt. Rev. George E. Battle, Jr., Bishop Richard K. Thompson, and Bishop Louis Hunter, Sr., Bishop Kenneth Monroe, Bishop Darryl B. Starnes, Sr., Bishop Dennis V. Proctor, Bishop Mildred B. Hines, Bishop W. Darin Moore and Bishop Michael Angelo Frencher. The retired bishops are: Bishop Joseph Johnson, Bishop Marshall H. Strickland and Bishop Nathaniel Jarret, Bishop George W.C. Walker, Sr., Bishop S. Chucka Ekemam, Sr. and Bishop Warren M. Brown.