A pastor in Nigeria has been released by the extremist group holding him captive after more than two months of imprisonment.
Pastor Bulus Yakuru of the Chruch of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) was first captured on Dec. 24, 2020, CBN News reports.
Three videos have been released since Yakuru's abduction where the pastor appeared, identified himself, and begged for government officials and Christian leaders to work to negotiate his release.
"I'm calling on President Muhammadu Buhari and the governor of Borno to help me because I have been given a one-week ultimatum today, Feb. 24," Yakuru reportedly says in one video.
"If you want me alive, I beg you in your capacity as president, the governor, and our local government chairman to save me from this suffering."
Yakuru asked for prayer in the videos, also.
"Today is the last day I will have the opportunity to call on you in your capacity as my parents and relatives in the country. Anyone who has the intention should help and save me. Please release me from this pain."
HumAngle reported the pastor was freed Wednesday, just as the deadline set by the Abubakar Shekau-led Boko Haram group's ransom demand was about to expire.
Last year, Nigeria was the country with the most Christians killed because of their faith. From November 2019 to October 2020, 3,530 were killed, more than doubling the number of Christian deaths from the year before, according to Open Doors USA's 2021 World Watch List.
Nigeria also had 990 kidnapped believers last year, the highest of any country in the world. The current World Watch list ranks Nigeria as the ninth-worst country in the world for the persecution of Christians, attributed to especially high rates of Islamic oppression.