2017 Mission Street, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94110
Dear Ms. Benjamin,
My name is Emmett Eldred. I am one of many youth and young adults who belong to an active, passionate movement within the Church of the Brethren to better reflect the love and teachings of Jesus in our everyday lives. I am writing to you as part of a series of over 1000 letters that I will write over the next year to public figures about the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.
It is my hope that you will hear about the EYN and be moved as I have been moved to use your voice, network, and avenues to work towards their aid and partner in their efforts of building peace. I’m sure you remember the 276 schoolgirls from northern Nigeria who were kidnapped by Boko Haram. Roughly three-fourths of those girls belong to the EYN. In fact, few groups have suffered from the violence in Nigeria as severely as the EYN, and their situation continues to worsen.
What makes the EYN’s story so moving and remarkable is not just their suffering, but also the courageous, inspiring way that they have responded to their suffering. The Church of the Brethren, including the EYN, is a historic peace church. The EYN has clung to their allegiance to peace, establishing it as one of the cornerstones of their faithful response to their hardship.
Though they face great hatred, fear, and division, they have responded with even greater love, courage, and community. They have accepted the call to be a beacon of Christ’s love in a climate darkened by violence. This means becoming leaders in working towards the restoration of community, dialogue, and the dignity of all Nigerians, though this means great sacrifice.
These people fill me with hope, and I will never stop advocating for them.
I hope you will learn more about the EYN and commit your voice and hands in working for their aid and partnering in their efforts to reject the tradition of violence that plagues their region. There is hope for peace in Nigeria, and it is seen in dedicated, inspired practitioners of nonviolence like the EYN, but they need our help to stay safe and make peace a reality.
With thanks and the love of Christ,
Carnegie Mellon University SMC# 2046
Pittsburgh, PA 15289