By Diana Chandler
WASHINGTON (BP) — A teenage Christian survivor of Boko Haram terrorism in 2011 talked openly Tuesday (May 13) for the first time about her ordeal, expressing hope that her story would encourage Christians to persevere in persecution.
Deborah Peters, 15, said in a panel discussion hosted by Hudson Institute in Washington that Boko Haram murdered her Christian father and brother and bound her between the corpses at her home near Chibok, the same town where the Islamic terror group kidnapped nearly 300 school girls in April.
“I hope if people hear my story, I think they will understand,” Peters said, “and they will know more and more of what God said and they will understand what it means to stand strong and have courage.”
Peters was joined on the panel by Emmanuel Ogebe, a human rights lawyer with the U.S. Nigeria Law Group and expert in U.S.-Nigerian relations, who helped Peters come to the U.S. through a program established after Sept. 11, 2001, to aid victims of terrorism.
While Peters’ father was Christian, her mother was Muslim and fled to safety a month before the murders after Boko Haram destroyed the church Peters’ father pastored.
“In November, they burned his church, but still, he didn’t give up and built the church again,” Peters said. “So they said OK, they’re gonna kill him. And they came to our house and killed him.”