Terror at home
It was a Sunday when Miriam was kidnapped.
She’d gone to church, just like every Sunday. But that evening, terrorists surrounded her village while her husband was in another town. “Some of them pointed guns at us and brought us into the compound, and the others surrounded the yard,” she remembers.
Miriam prayed frantically as the terrorists entered the compound. Miriam’s pastor, who lived in the same compound, was tied up, blindfolded and led to the church. Once there, the gunmen took every Bible, then returned to the compound. They let most of the Christians go—but they kept Miriam, her two daughters, and the pastor and his family. They put the believers on their motorcycles and sped off.
Miriam knew the terrorists were Islamic extremists. Groups with ties to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group are active in her part of Burkina Faso and are known to target Christians. “They said their holy book tells them to kill all [non-Muslims],” she says. “They said that only those who believe the Quran will be able to see God.”
At the terrorists’ camp, Miriam saw the brutality of the extremists firsthand when others were killed for refusing orders. And then, Miriam was given to one of the men as his wife. She was so horrified that she fainted.
Over time, she realized she was pregnant. “I was very sad—I did not know what to do,” she remembers. But she trusted that God’s will would be done, no matter what.