Systematic Elimination of Nigerian Christians Claims Thousands of Lives
A delegation from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) visited southern Kaduna in Nigeria's Middle Belt where thousands of Christians were massacred from September 2016 up to early this year. The government is seen to be tolerating the atrocities perpetrated by Islamic bandits.
The delegation, headed by CBCN president Ignatius Kaigama, came to sympathize with the faithful who were victimized by the attacks. They also visited Joseph Bagobiri, archbishop of the Diocese of Kafanchan, who had arrived from his treatment abroad, Vatican Radio reported.
Bagobiri told the delegation that they have taken their case to God in prayer.
"Since we have no government that would listen to our plight, we have carried our case directly to God," he said. "Our hope in Him is never in vain since he knows our problem and He will deliver us one day just as he delivered the people of Israel from the hands of the Egyptians."
At least 53 villages in Kaduna state have been overrun by Hausa-Fulani herdsmen, a radical Islamic tribe that targets Christian communities. They burnt 1,422 houses and 16 churches and destroyed more than $17.5 million worth of farm produce. Most of those killed were women, children and the elderly.
Bagobiri called for unity and cooperation among the faithful to combat what he termed as the systematic elimination of Christians in the northern part of the country. In areas where persecution is not as violent, Christians are discriminated upon. He presented two steps to carry out the program.
"First and foremost, we must continually make noise and bring to the fore the structural injustices embedded in the system of government," he said. "Secondly, we must use Constitutional means to fight for our rights. Where it becomes necessary, we must go to court and use human rights lawyers that are sympathetic to the course of justice; not only as a Church but also as citizens of this country."
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