Katrina vanden Heuvel
33 Irving Place
New York, New York 10003
Dear Ms. Vandan Heuval
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 Brehtren 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 and media about the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.
It is my hope that you will share the EYN’s story in your magazine. 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 more from the violence in Nigeria than the EYN.
However, it is not only the suffering of the EYN that makes their story so important to hear, but also their response to their suffering. The Church of the Brethren, including the EYN, is a historic peace church. The EYN have been steadfast and faithful in the commitment to building peace, despite their horrific trials.
In the face of great hatred, fear, and division, the EYN have responded with far greater love, courage, and community. They believe that they must be beacons of Christ’s love to a community darkened by violence. They have become leaders in working to peacefully and sustainably restore community, dialogue, and the dignity of all Nigerians.
These people fill me with hope, and I will never stop advocating for them.
I look forward to communicating with you further about the EYN. The EYN represent the possibility of peace in Nigeria, but they need our awareness and partnership to make that possibility a reality. Please don’t hesitate to contact me in whichever way is most convenient for you.
With thanks and the love of Christ,
Carnegie Mellon University SMC# 2046
Pittsburgh, PA 15289