Boko Haram, which means “western education is forbidden” was formed in 2009 and hopes to impose Sharia Law on Nigeria. The group targets security forces, politicians, Christian minorities, Muslims and moderates in northern Nigeria where the majority of the population is Muslim.
A state of emergency was announced in Borno in March of 2013 and in the neighboring states of Yobe and Adamawa. The United States designated Boko Haram a foreign terrorist organization after human rights and Christian groups called for this to happen.
Boko Haram has killed thousands since 2009 in its attacks and at least 4000 in 2014 according to a human rights organization. Meanwhile, at least another 1.5 million have been displaced.
Bishop Doemi added that “the threat that we face will take the Church into a future that is extremely grim. Many of our members have fled and others killed. In some areas there are no longer any Christians. However, the Church will remain strong and many of our people have returned after Nigerian soldiers have regained control of the area. The thing that is most important is prayer in behalf of our people.”
He concluded by saying that, “We know that the people are praying for us and we are extremely grateful. I want the people to pray unto Mary, Mother of God, to uphold our cause. Thus, our faith will be sufficient in the blessed Virgin.”
This article originally appeared at Aleteia’s Arabic site and was translated by Donald Puhlman.