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Eye on the World: Protecting the innocent in Nigeria

- Eye on the World
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On April 15 Boko Haram, a militant Islamic group, kidnapped more than 200 girls from a school in Chibok, a town in northeastern Nigeria. The Nigerian military is searching for the girls, but most remain in captivity, save for 53 who have escaped. Nigerians have organized large protests over the government’s inability to locate the missing girls; families fear that the military’s search-and-rescue plan is not effective. The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, released a video this week in which he said he planned to sell the girls into slavery.

How can prayer help in a situation such as this? The location of the girls isn’t known, but God’s power transcends geographic distance, speaking directly to each of His children. And a clear understanding of God’s laws can help bring an end to kidnapping and slavery.

Human trafficking: don’t look away” explains how each of us can engage with this issue from a spiritual basis. When we insist in prayer that all men, women, and children are made in God’s image, as the Bible attests, we’re protesting against the view that men or women can be victimized or victimizers. The author writes, “Prayer reveals that man’s true nature is always to help, never to hurt, and never to attempt to profit at someone else’s expense.” 

But how can this kind of prayer have an effect? One example is found in “From humanly trafficked to humanely freed,” in which a Christian Science practitioner recounts the role prayer played in freeing a woman she came to know, who’d been in a forced employment situation in the Middle East. The practitioner’s prayers—and those of a Christian Science branch church in the United States—focused on the freedom that is part of each person’s spiritual identity. Freedom, liberty, and harmony are spiritual qualities, emanating from God and reflected by each of His children. The woman was released from her oppressive employment contract and the threats against her ceased.

Equality: already present” explains how the issue of gender inequality—from which violence and lack of available and supported education for girls often stem—can be addressed through prayer. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, often referred to God as “Father-Mother” in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, emphasizing the totality of spiritual qualities that can be expressed by both men and women. We can see individuals of both genders reflecting God’s qualities,  and this elevated view helps ensure dignity and safety of all people around the world.

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  1. what wonderful information for us to use as we pray for this and so many other global issues. thank you so much for sharing and I will focus on the guidance provided.

  2. Let me add another article to the list "Stones Crying Out Loud," CS Monitor, January 6, 2003 ( This piece along with the others shared discusses the 'self-revealing nature of all truth, through the operation of divine law' in the resolution of crime. It also speaks to the power and presence of innocence; "A great gulf is fixed between crime and innocence so that evil, a lie, literally cannot see a divine idea, an innocent of God's making." Thank you jshonline team.

  3. Thank you for addressing this. I've followed this story and want to elevate my thought about it to aid in healing.

  4. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. This is a perfect complement to the Monitor's Daily News Briefing, this week's Bible Lesson, and my prayers to see that these girls are God's "CHILDREN. The spiritual thoughts and representatives of Life, Truth, and Love," "cared for, watched over, beloved, and protected." "Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own." And thank you all for the reminder that this includes the innocence of all God's children.

  5. Thank you for this...and for the helpful articles mentioned. I am so grateful.

  6. Thank you for this...and for the helpful articles mentioned. And I found Kwadjo's recommendation of "Stones Crying Out Loud" wonderfully spot-on. I am so grateful to you all.

  7. Thank you to the staff to the Sentinel staff for putting together such a timely article, with references to other articles on this subject.

  8. THANK YOU to Carolyn for the reminder about the definition of CHILDREN ... and the second part of the definition is so very helpful in dealing with the opposing lies...Science and Health, p.503:1

  9. Paul Stark Seeley has a great article, "Neither Villains Nor Victims." It's in Classic Articles II and can be found online.

  10. It's imperative to handle animal magnetism in this case and ask "What truth is evil trying to negate about God and His idea?" It's trying to negate the truth that there is only one Mind, God. And since God is good, Mind is good. It's trying to negate that man is Mind's reflection and that he doesn't have a little mind of his own. It's trying to negate that man is capable of good only and that evil is not power or presence. God is Love, Divine Mind, the source of all intelligence and His creation must express this intelligence and love. There is only one, infinite, eternal, ever-present Mind and therefore no other mind to despotically control another mind and no other mind to succumb to this despotic control. Thank God that His creation is good, pure, and loving and that His is the only creation. Thank God that neither I nor anyone else can be fooled by animal magnetism into believing in any mind apart from God.

  11. Thank you, Sentinel staff and commenters, including Third Dan's strong stand for Truth. God is right where the girls are, loving each one. Their captors can wake up to what God knows about them.

  12. Thank you for such clear guidelines for efffective scientific prayer.
    Robinson Crusoe 05/13/2014

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