The Vatican has joined the global condemnation of Boku Haram, and made an urgent plea for the release of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls according Vatican News on Thursday. Speaking on behalf of the Holy See Press Office, Father Frederico Lombardi blasted the terrorist group and its deplorable acts of violence.
More than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls, 276 according to Globe Aware, were abducted from their dormitory on April 14, 2014, with eight more kidnapped this past Sunday. Most of the girls are still missing and feared to be victims or future victims of sex trafficking. One father told ABC News he’d prefer his daughter dead than to think of the horrors that await her as a sex slave. Behind the viral campaign to #BringBackOurGirls is the importance of awareness, which the First Lady reiterated via Twitter on Wednesday.
Our prayers are with the missing Nigerian girls and their families. It’s time to #BringBackOurGirls
Father Frederico Lombardi stated this latest abduction is one more act of “horrible violence” Boku Haram is renowned for. Vatican Radio reported the representative of the Holy See Press Office said the appalling kidnapping of the Nigerian girls prove the terrorists have the utmost of hatred for the respect of innocent life, which “calls for the strongest condemnation” against the animals that committed the offenses.
Lombardi went on to say the abduction of the Nigerian schoolgirls “arouses the most heartfelt feelings of compassion for the victims,” and imparts an unimaginable “sense of horror for the physical and spiritual suffering along with incredible humiliation” the victims are experiencing. The Vatican demanded the release of the girls back to their “normal” daily lives and offered prayers for the end of conflict and terrorism in Nigeria.
The international outrage has brought global support from unlikely allies as the threat of the kidnapped Nigerian girls' fate grows truer every day. Celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Ashton Kutcher and Sean Penn, among others, have also embarked in the campaign to raise awareness to end sex trafficking with Real Men Don't Buy Girls, photos with signs similar to Michelle Obama’s #BringBackOurGirls.