Nigeria: Pastor’s Daughter Allegedly Kidnapped, Forced to Convert

Friday, August 2, 2013

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

ABUJA, NIGERIA (Worthy News)-- A pastor's daughter in Nigeria has been abducted by a Muslim leader who forced her to convert to Islam in a sharia court.

Pastor Raymond Uzoechina of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Abuja told Morning Star News by phone that the Emir of the Nupe in Bida, Niger state had abducted his daughter, Charity Uzoechina, when she left home to study at the Federal Polytechnic-Bida in February.

Pastor Uzoechina said he hired an attorney to bring his daughter to court to question her about what really happened, but was refused. When he contacted local police, they informed Uzoechina that the matter was already decided by the sharia court.

The sharia court reportedly ruled that it had put Pastor Uzoechina’s daughter under the "protection" of the Emir because she had converted to Islam of her own free will and was afraid for her life after leaving Christianity.

However, Pastor Uzoechina wondered why the Emir's living quarters would be considered a facility of protection; he also questioned why his daughter wasn't under police protection if the authorities really believed he would harm her for leaving their religion.

In March, Uzoechina’s attorney, Anthony Agbonlahor, reportedly petitioned the chief judge of Niger state for the release of the pastor's daughter. Agbonlahor challenged the jurisdiction of the sharia court, which is expected to issue a ruling on August 1.

"This Muslim leader changed the name of my daughter to Aisha, an Islamic name," said Uzoechina. "I am sure that my daughter will never embrace Islam. She is being held against her wish and forced into a religion that is alien to us. Charity can never abandon the Christian faith for Islam."

Pastor Uzoechina said he has learned that other Christian women have been forcibly converted to Islam and that they too are being held captive at the Emir's home.

"Apart from my daughter, there are so many other Christian girls also that have been kidnapped and are being held at the palace," he said. "There is need for the police to rescue these Christian girls in that Islamic enclave."