One year to the day after the world learned that Boko Haram had kidnapped 276 girls from the Nigerian city of Chibok as part of a continued campaign of violence, a group of over 300 people gathered in New York City, more than 5,500 miles away, to show support for the ongoing search effort and to ask authorities to work harder.
“What is the reason that the world has not turned its attention to these girls,” Rev. Herbert Daughtry, activist and presiding minister of the House of the Lord Church, asked the crowd moments before they marched to the Nigerian Embassy.
The kidnapping "anniversary" was also marked with massive protests in the Nigerian cities of Abuja and Lagos. The crowd gathered in New York was comprised of people representing dozens of ethnicities and religions in an attempt to show nondenominational support for the girls, and to condemn the actions of Boko Haram, a militant group with ties to Islamist extremism.
"It's so important for us to be united and look at the things that bind us. We all cry the same," said Debbie Almontaser, president of the New York City-based Muslim Community Network, to the crowd of people gathered outside the United Nations church center, many of whom were wearing numbered signs, in homage to the number of girls who were taken.
"We are all here as people of faith," Almontaser said. "Those who aren't people of faith are people of good conscience wanting good for their fellow human beings."
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