Hope for persecuted Christians?  Nigerian pastor and wife achieve victory after three years behind bars

Hope for persecuted Christians? Nigerian pastor and wife achieve victory after three years behind bars

A pastor and his wife have won a significant victory in Nigeria after being acquitted of wrongdoing stemming from allegations that they kidnapped and proselytized a 12-year-old girl.

Listen to them in the latest episode of Quick Start

The exoneration of Rev. Jonah Gangas and his wife Josephine is a rare victory in Nigeria, a place where persecution of Christians is increasing rapidly.

According to ADF International, Jonah and Josephine Gangas came under fire after they took in a runaway Muslim girl in 2013 and allowed her to live with them for seven years.

After graduating from secondary school, the girl returned to her family.

At the time, the couple, who preach at the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA Church), were accused of kidnapping the girl, allegedly on behalf of a Muslim organization.

They were subsequently arrested in 2020 and jailed without bail for three years.

However, according to ADF International, “After many delayed hearings, the Kaduna State High Court issued its decision, fully acquitting the couple of wrongdoing in a no-case application.”

Attorney Sean Nelson said he was “grateful” for the acquittal and that no one should be punished for showing kindness and compassion.

“For simply helping this young girl and taking her in in a moment of need, they were punished, prosecuted and imprisoned,” Nelson said. “We are pleased that the court has sided with Reverend and Mrs. Gangas, and we hope that this decision will have a positive impact on other Christians and religious minorities in the country who are also being unfairly punished for their faith .”

As CBN News reported, cases like this are hardly rare in Nigeria.

In fact, Nelson and ADF International recently sounded the alarm over two universities – one federal and one state – reportedly banning Christian students from “using any facilities for worship.” [or] community.”

“The reason you know it's discrimination is because … Muslim students are fully allowed to use all of these facilities,” he said. “They prevent Christians from using these spaces, worshiping and fellowshipping on campus; To do this, they must leave campus. It is simply discrimination.”

Nelson said such restrictions violate the Nigerian constitution, which protects freedom of religion and belief.

“If you combine [the college issue] “With some of the targeted killings that Christians are facing across the north, there have been hundreds of kidnappings in the last few weeks alone,” Nelson said. “It’s a really terrible situation for them.”

Meanwhile, Open Doors' World Watch List 2024 placed Nigeria sixth in its ranking of countries where anti-Christian persecution and discrimination are worst. A press release announcing the findings said: “More than 82% of Christians killed for religious reasons worldwide were in Nigeria.”

Read more about the worrying issues of persecution in Nigeria here.

Source: www2.cbn.com

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