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The Real Situation of Christian Suffering in Nigeria

AFP Stringer

The body of a victim of a bombing at the Sharon Church in Kaduna is taken on June 17, 2012 to the morgue of the Saint-Gerard hospital in the northern Nigerian city. Bomb blasts damaged five churches in four cities in Nigeria's northern Kaduna state on June 17, injuring dozens of worshippers and leading to an immediate curfew, officials said.  The number of casualties in the blasts in the neighboring cities of Zaria and Kaduna and in the southern Christian-dominated Nassarawa and Barnawa was not immediately clear. Police and the military cordoned off the areas. Kaduna state authorities immediately imposed a 24-hour curfew. AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

Aleteia - published on 07/21/14 - updated on 06/07/17

The confrontation will no longer be between Muslims who are very religious and Christian politians who don’t believe in Christianity.

In Europe they say, why don’t you stop mixing religion with politics, but we say, if you decide to throw your religion outside of politics, that is your business, but we are not going to do the same.

Can you comment on the situation of the 200 kidnapped girls? Is there any news on the ground?

Again, I am embarrassed that so many girls were abducted. It has been two months. They keep telling us, don’t worry, we will get them back, but for me it is a bluff.

Two months is such a long period to keep 15 and 16 year old girls in the hands of terrorists. And many of them are under the influence of drugs. So the chances that these poor girls are being abused and mistreated are very high, which means that our government has no excuse not to have done something about it. We are still waiting!

Obama has sent some Americans to Nigeria, and they are still in Abuja in the Hilton hotel enjoying themselves, having meetings with government officials. None of them are anywhere near the battleground of Boko Haram.

In other words what the international community is doing, the British, French, Americans – it is all just politics. And I think our government knows that. No one will help us get those girls out; we need to help ourselves.

Before the abduction of the 200 girls, Boko Haram had been abducting women, girls and young boys on a regular basis. So people should not just be talking about the 200 girls, but about the whole situation: these terrorists go into the villages and abduct the young boys, young girls, and wives as well.

Should Christians have the right to protect themselves?

Everyone has a right of self-defence, whether Christian or not. If you are being attacked you will defend yourself as much as possible.

But I do not want it to appear that everywhere in the world Muslims are armed and killing people. We also need to recognise that unfortunately very often, religion is used in this kind of situation. The Boko Haram claims to be doing all of this because of Islam, but the Islamic community in Nigeria, says ‘no, this is not the way Muslims believe.’

This is why the Nigerian army are fighting Boko Haram, not just to protect Christians, but to disarm Boko Haram. And in the army there are Christians and Muslims in the same unit.

Interviewer Wael Salibi

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