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From the December 2006 issue of The Christian Science Journal

IN 1999, I began my first year at the University of Calabar in Nigeria. At that time cult practices were common in Nigerian universities, and the school I attended had the highest number of students who were involved in a variety of these cults. When the students in cults couldn't resolve issues through dialogue with other students, they frequently resorted to killing.

Because of the brutal killings that had occurred at my school, I was totally engulfed in fear. I felt like I wore fear as my daily uniform. I had been in school only two weeks when I witnessed the killing of a fellow student. Gradually I lost self-confidence, and everything around me felt chaotic.

Though my philosophy that nobody would think evil toward me because I don't think evil of others gave me courage, I didn't welcome the idea of looking my fellow students in the face, because I saw 80 percent of the male students as heartless mobsters. Out of fear, I stuck to a rigid daily routine of going from my hostel to the lecture room to the library and then back to the hostel. I felt like a bondaged man.

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