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Beltway Confidential

Real war on women: Nigerian Islamists tell Christian women to 'convert or die'

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Beltway Confidential,Marco Rubio,Ashe Schow,Africa,Islamic Jihad,Freedom of Religion,Nigeria,Gender Issues

A 19-year-old Christian woman was kidnapped by a Nigerian terrorist group and forced to convert to Islam or be murdered, according to Reuters.

Boko Haram, an Islamist extremist group, kidnapped and enslaved the young woman, known only as Hajja, in July.

"I can't sleep when I think of being there," Hajja told Reuters. She said she was forced to gather rebel intelligence and watch her captors slit the throats of the prisoners she helped catch until she was able to escape after three months in captivity.

"If I cried, they beat me. If I spoke, they beat me. They told me I must become a Muslim, but I refused again and again," Hajja said.

Hajja is not the first woman to be forced to choose between her faith and her life. The abduction of Christian women by Boko Haram is becoming a regular occurrence in Nigeria. At least a dozen other young women are being held captive by the terrorist group, according to Michael Yohanna, a government official in Hajja’s hometown of Gwoza, Nigeria.

The women are taken from their villages, threatened with death if they don’t convert to Islam and then “married” to their captors. They are then ordered to cook for them and carry their ammunition.

The abduction and enslaving of Christian women is not just part of the real war on women, it is also part of the war on Christianity.

Boko Haram believes all non-Muslims must convert to Islam or die. Boko Haram has increasingly become more deadly toward Christians in recent months, and has killed hundreds in just the past few weeks, according to Reuters. The State Department put the group on its list of foreign terrorist organizations last week.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said the United States should do more to prevent the persecution of Christians during a speech Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute.

“Protecting the rights of every person to worship in accordance with their own faith must always be a clear priority of the United States,” Rubio said.

Rubio suggested the U.S. put its “money where our mouth is” by making U.S. foreign aid reflect “our values and our interests.”

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