Because of the international recognition of their work, Dr. Rebecca Dali and her husband Dr. Samuel Dali have become direct targets of the extremist terrorist group Boko Haram and are no longer able to live in their native Nigeria. Dr. Samuel Dali, who is a graduate of McPherson College, along with his wife, will speak in a public lecture at McPherson College’s Mingenback Theatre on Wednesday, November 29 at noon. Their presentation is titled, “A Peaceful Response to the Boko Haram Terror.”
Dr. Samuel Dali is the former president of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, known locally as Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria, or EYN Church. Many of the families of the more than 200 girls kidnapped in April 2014 in Chibok by the Boko Haram were members of the EYN Church.
Dr. Rebecca Dali is the founder and CEO of the Center for Caring, Empowerment and Peace Initiative, or CCEPI, and received an award from the United Nations in August for her courageous work to reintegrate girls and orphans freed by the Boko Haram back into their local communities.
Boko Haram promotes an extremist version of Islam that forbids Muslims to take part in any aspect of Western society, it initially focused its opposition on Western education. At its height, it fought to overthrow the Nigerian government and create an Islamic state and kidnapped more than 200 girls from their school. The organization was designated a terrorist group by the United States in 2013. After a series of negotiations in 2016, the militants began releasing some of the girls that were kidnapped.
Drs. Samuel and Rebecca Dali’s individual life stories and their work to combat terrorism in Nigeria are testament to the peaceful, nonresistance stance of the Church of the Brethren. They will share their experiences in the free public lecture on November 29 as well as with McPherson College students during classes on November 30. The McPherson College Office of Spiritual Life & Service is hosting this event.