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Church Must Learn to Live with Persecution –Nigerian Bishop

A local bishop in Nigeria blamed the government’s inaction for the ongoing violence against Christians in the north, reports The Tablet.

In a speech before a delegation of the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Catholic Bishop of Kafanchan Diocese, Joseph Bagobiri, said, “The root cause of this crisis is the institutionalization of what could be regarded as structural injustice.”

Bishop Bagobiri disclosed that injustices against Christians of southern Kaduna have now become institutionalized. According to Vatican Radio, these injustices include “inequitable distribution of amenities, infrastructure and discrimination in appointment to political and public office.”

Kaduna state is the region which lies between the Muslims of the north and the Christians in the south. It has been a battleground following the attacks of Fulani herdsmen against local farmers who are mostly Christians. These violent incidents left over 800 people dead, but the government said the number of casualties might be lower.

The bishop claimed that the government prioritizes the funding of projects in the northern part of the state which benefits only the Muslims. He said, “This to my view, is a deliberate policy of injustice designed to shut our people out from the scheme of things and deny us our rights.”

Bishop Bagobiri disclosed that injustices against Christians of southern Kaduna have now become institutionalized. According to Vatican Radio, these injustices include “inequitable distribution of amenities, infrastructure and discrimination in appointment to political and public office.”

The Church must learn to live with persecution and must evolve to be able to remain strong amid the oppression.  ~Bishop Bagobiri

The bishop added that the Church must learn to live with persecution and must evolve to be able to remain strong amid the oppression. “It is our prayer that God will give us strength and the needed direction on how to make Christianity survive despite the constant attacks and persecution.”

The Nigerian government maintained that the conflict in Kaduna state is due to ethnic tensions and is not due to religious differences.

“We live in a country that is multi-ethnic, multi-religious and complex in nature,” the President of the Nigerian bishops’ conference, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, said.

“That is why we must constantly appeal to the sensibilities of our political leaders not to be seen to promote the interest of any particular group but to be neutral and seek the common things that will promote unity, fairness and equity in the country,” he added.

Sources:
The tablet – w: enquiries@thetabletcouk. (2017). Thetabletcouk. http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/6915/0/government-complicit-in-violence-against-christians-says-nigerian-bishop-

Radiovaticanava. (2017). Radiovaticanava. http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/03/28/nigeria_church_worried_about_elimination_of_christians/1301698

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