Juicy Ecumenism | Faith McDonnell | January 30, 2020
Persecution of Christians in Nigeria is not a new thing. Attacks on churches, imposition of Sharia, killings of individuals – even mass slaughter on Christian-majority areas – have been going on for decades. But currently the suffering of Nigeria’s Christians is like never before. New reports of these attacks come almost daily. What can we do?
A great human rights activist, French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, recently issued an urgent SOS for the Christians in Nigeria. If you have not read it, it is time to hear the truth that Levy learned in his visit. And a coalition to defend persecuted Christians has called for President Trump to appoint a U.S. Special Envoy for Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. You can add your voice to this call.
Reports of attacks and deaths of Christians in the northern and middle belt states come at such a rate that I start to wonder if those areas will soon be completely “cleansed” of Christians. That is the point of all this killing, after all. The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shegau (who should receive the same treatment from the United States as the other Abubakar) said some years ago that he had no more hesitation about killing a Christian than he did about “killing a chicken.”
In November 2013, the Obama State Department finally acknowledged that “midnight basketball” and rec centers would not stem the tide of Boko Haram and designated the jihadists as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO), after three years of effort by Christian human rights and religious freedom activists. The jihadists have definitely proved our point now, declaring loyalty to ISIS and forming the Islamic State West African Province.
Boko Haram has been named one of the four top terrorist groups globally by the Global Terrorism Index.