Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice
1100 East 55th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60615
Dear Mr. Shelley,
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 am writing to public figures and community leaders about the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.
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 much as the EYN, and their situation continues to worsen.
However, it is not just the suffering of the EYN that has inspired me to write these letters. I am inspired by their amazing response to their suffering. The Church of the Brethren, including the EYN, is a historic peace church. The EYN have been faithful and steadfast in their commitment to building peace, especially with their muslim neighbors, despite their horrific trials.
In the face of great hatred, fear, and division, the EYN have responded with far great love, courage, and community. They understand that they must be beacons of Christ’s love to a community darkened by violence. They have become leader in working to peacefully and sustainably restore community, dialogue, and the dignity of all Nigerians.
The EYN fill me with hope, and I will never stop advocating for them. This is my sixty-ninth day of writing three letters per day to anyone who I think can help by including the EYN in their programing, sharing the EYN’s story, and supporting the EYN’s ministry. Unfortunately, this week Boko Haram attacked and overtook the EYN headquarters. As the violence continues to escalate, Nigeria needs the EYN more than ever, and the EYN needs us more than ever.
I look forward to communicating with you further about what you can do to get involved and how we can work together on behalf of the EYN. The EYN represent the possibility of peace in Nigeria, but they need our awareness and partnership to make it a reality. I hope that we can work together to honor their sacrifices, by emphasizing the need of a peaceful solution to this violence. 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