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Nigerian Catholics pray for release of kidnapped girls

Sunday - 5/11/2014, 1:20pm  ET

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) -- Christians in Nigeria's capital are praying for the girls abducted by radical Islamist group Boko Haram (BOH'-koh hah-RAHM').

At Sunday Mass in Abuja's (ah-BOO'-juhz) Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Cathedral, Father Stephen Omale (OH'-mah-lay) asked God to "touch the hearts of the perpetrators of this crime, the Boko Haram group, that God will touch them and grant them the grace of conversion."

Fifty-three of the abducted girls managed to escape their captors, with 276 still missing. Boko Haram is threatening to sell them into slavery.

After the Mass, Omale said his congregation prayed that wherever the girls are, "God will bring them out in his own mercy, he will see that they are brought out safely."

The priest said steps are being taken to find and free the girls, and that "by the grace of God, with our prayers, the steps will yield fruit very soon."

Sound:

%@AP Links

144-a-07-(Father Stephen Omale (OH'-mah-lay), priest at Our Lady of Nigeria Cathedral, at Sunday Mass)-"change of heart"-Father Stephen Omale, a priest at Our Lady of Nigeria Cathedral, prayed at Sunday Mass that the kidnappers would free hundreds of abducted girls. (11 May 2014)

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146-a-05-(Father Stephen Omale (OH'-mah-lay), priest at Our Lady of Nigeria Cathedral, in AP interview)-"fruit very soon"-Father Stephen Omale, a priest at Our Lady of Nigeria Cathedral, says he believes steps are being taken to rescue the kidnapped girls. (11 May 2014)

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145-a-05-(Father Stephen Omale (OH'-mah-lay), priest at Our Lady of Nigeria Cathedral, in AP interview)-"his own mercy"-Father Stephen Omale, a priest at Our Lady of Nigeria Cathedral, says his congregation is praying for the abducted girls. (11 May 2014)

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