We are the most effective way to get your press release into the hands of reporters and news producers. Check out our client list.

Open Doors USA Launches Writing, Prayer Campaign

Families of Missing Nigerian Girls Need Encouragement, Prayers

Contact: Jerry Dykstra, Media Relations Director, Open Doors USA, 616-915-4117, JerryD@odusa.org

SANTA ANA, Calif., May 8, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Open Doors USA announced today it has launched a writing/prayer campaign on its website to encourage the families of nearly 300 Nigerian girls who were kidnapped almost four weeks ago by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram.

"Open Doors workers are ministering to some of the families in Chibok," says Open Doors USA President/CEO David Curry. "The workers report that the failure to locate the girls and the recent release of the Boko Haram video, saying the girls would be sold, has been 'draining the families' minds and also the local Body of Christ.'

"Our hearts are broken for their parents as they grieve and are frustrated with the lack of a concerted search effort by the government. There is now a way to encourage the families, let them know you care and praying on their behalf.

To write a blog post, go to blog.opendoorsusa.org/send-prayers-encouragement-families-300-girls-kidnapped-nigeria and to share a prayer go to lp.opendoorsusa.org/emails/may-14-news.

"The letters and prayers gathered during the campaign will be given to the families," says Curry. "Please consider taking a few minutes to let our brothers and sisters in Chibok know that they and their precious daughters are not forgotten."

An Open Doors team member in Nigeria states: "Keep the prayers up; the Lord will surely strengthen you and reward you for praying for this situation."

On Wednesday, Open Doors workers reported two of the Chibok girls died from snake bites and 20 others are critically ill. The terrorists have reportedly taken the girls deep into the bush of the Sambisa Forest, a game reserve in the northeastern area of Nigeria. According to multiple news sources, the Boko Haram forces have hidden the students, ages 16-20, in abandoned military bunkers. The forest is teeming with many poisonous snakes. The Sambisa Forest serves as a safe haven for Boko Haram.

World Watch Monitor reported that an additional eight to 11 girls were kidnapped Sunday from two villages in Borno state. Their ages range from 12 to 15.

The Nigerian government has offered a $300,000 reward for information leading to the capture of Boko Haram leader Abubakdar Shekau, who promised to sell the girls "on the market."

According to the Associated Press, over 1,500 Nigerians have been killed by Boko Haram in the first quarter of 2014. Nigeria is ranked No. 14 on the Open Doors 2014 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians. Nigeria also ranked as the most violent place in the world for Christians during the reporting period of Nov. 1, 2012 through March 31 this year, according to World Watch List researchers.

For more information on the situation in Nigeria, go to www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2014/_05/article_3129079.html

For almost 60 years Open Doors has worked in the world's most oppressive and restrictive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ's light in these places. Open Doors empowers persecuted Christians in the areas of Bible and gospel development, women and children’s advancement and Christian community restoration. Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.

(To set up an interview or for more information, contact Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email jerryd@odusa.org.)