The Vatican News Agency – FIDES – is reporting the destruction of the Holy Family Catholic Church in Kikwari, Kajuru County in the Archdiocese of Kaduna, Nigeria. According to state authorities, the perpetrators are members of an “armed gang”. The armed men entered Kikwari and set fire to the Church and two other buildings. The villagers fled after learning of the attackers’ arrival in their community.
State Commissioner for Homeland Security and Internal Affairs Samuel Aruwan confirmed the incident in a statement released on Sunday, February 21. According to Commissioner Aruwan, Governor El-Rufai also condemned the attack and expressed his solidarity with the villagers. Aruwan said the governor has “asked believers to stand firm in their faith and devotion, and to regard the assault as an act perpetrated by enemies of peace, humanity and diversity who will not succeed but will be defeated by the grace of God“.
El-Rufai meanwhile instructed the state crisis team in Kaduna to quickly assess the damage caused and take appropriate measures. The governor also assured that the security authorities will increase control measures in the region.
Meanwhile, in an attack on another village, also in Kaduna State, at least two people were killed and nine others kidnapped.
The Catholic Bishops of Nigeria have repeatedly condemned the inaction of Government agencies – through the country – to act against such groups. Last October, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah [pictured] of Sokoto diocese was scathing in his criticism of the Nigerian Federal Government for its failure to curb the ongoing violence and allowing Nigeria to become “a boiling pot that everyone wants to escape from.” The Bishop accused the President of the country of nepotism and favouring Muslims in 85 percent of key positions. “Nepotism has become the new ideology of this government”, Bishop Kukah stated in the article carried by La Croix International.
With thanks to FIDES and La Croix International