On April 14, 2014, the terrorist Islamist group called Boko Haram kidnapped over 270 girls, most between ages 16 and 18, from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in northeast Nigeria.
Boko Haram means “Western education is sinful.” Part of the motivation behind the attack is their belief that it is sinful for girls to be formally educated at all. Educating girls is a Western effort to undermine the Islamic view of the family.
The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, said in a recording, “Western education should end. . . . Girls, you should go and get married.” He warned that he would “give their hands in marriage because they are our slaves. We would marry them out at the age of 9. We would marry them out at the age of 12.”
While we advocate for vigorous efforts for the return of the young women, and while we pray for them and their evil abductors, it is fitting to remind ourselves why we as Christians encourage our girls and young women to seek a full education. What I mean by “full” will become clear.
1. God created man male and female in his image.
“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; maleand female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). The unique human capacities for knowing God and loving God belong to men and women.
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