Christmas violence in Nigeria
Day of prayer and fasting on December 31st
The Archbishop of Ibadan and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, Most Rev Felix Alaba Adeosin Job, reports that more that 200 people died in the violence during the Christmas celebrations, when Christians everywhere celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. Quoted in the Vatican Fides News Agency Archbishop Job stated:
“We the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria are deeply saddened by the Christmas day bombings directed at some Christian churches, which include St. Teresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Minna diocese”.
“The death toll of people considered either dead or missing from the very unfortunate tragedy, is today feared to be about 200 people. Many of the wounded have now been hospitalized, while the Church edifice and other buildings around are in ruins”, the statement continues”.
The Nigerian Bishops also launch an appeal to the country’s Islamic leadership: “Members of the Boko Haram sect have claimed responsibility for this shameful crime against God and humanity. We use this opportunity to call on our peace loving Muslims especially their leaders from the political, economic, social and religious spectrums not only to publicly denounce these acts, but for their own good and good of Nigeria to be pro active; and to do everything positive to end this movement”.
“This group has apparently declared war on Nigeria and at times of war, nations are calling on their reserves. It is apparent that, if we depend only on our available active security agents, we shall not make much progress, I therefore, call on Mr. President to recall the retired experts in criminology and employ foreign experts in this field to assist the active security agents to put an immediate end to threat Boko Haram menace” writes Archbishop Job.
“Forgiveness is what the Lord Jesus has taught us that we might forgive this heinous crime against humanity, I call for a day of prayer, that all the faithful in Nigeria will pray and fast on December 31st, 2011. Pray for Nigeria in distress and pray for peace in our nation and pray for good Governance”, concludes Mgr. Job. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 30/12/2011)
Read here a FIDES article explaining Boko Haram.