Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 17 January |
Saint of the Day: St. Anthony of Egypt
home iconNews
line break icon

As Boko Haram strikes on Christmas, “No evil will take away our faith”

Boko Haram

AUDU MARTE | AFP

Fionn Shiner-ACN - published on 01/09/21

According to a Nigerian human rights organization, as many as 12,000 Christians have been killed by Boko Haram since June 2015.

A Christmas Eve attack by Boko Haram – that left at least 11 dead and two church buildings razed to the ground—has prompted a Nigerian bishop to issue a rallying cry, insisting Islamist violence is doomed to failure.

In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri said he was undaunted by the attack in Pemi, near Chibok, where in 2014 more than 270 mostly Christian schoolgirls were kidnapped.

Speaking after the Christmas Eve attack in which a priest was abducted, Bishop Doeme said: “One thing that Boko Haram will never take from us is our faith.

“We will never allow our faith to be taken away by any evil. Our faith is becoming stronger and stronger. 100 people were baptized in one parish on Christmas Eve. People are so committed.”

Despite a period of violent conflict that has, according to Nigerian human rights organization Intersociety, killed up to 12,000 Christians since June 2015, Bishop Doeme said that Boko Haram’s actions were in fact strengthening the Christian faith.

He said: “Last year in my diocese we had more Catholics than when there was no Boko Haram crisis. As long as the kingdom of God continues, no evil human forces will overcome it. Over 200 churches have been burned down, as well as schools, but we will not be defeated.”

He added: “We are a people of faith and, in terms of the Church, Boko Haram is not the only evil we have faced. We are deeply devoted to Mary. God will crush Boko Haram in his own time.”

It is not the first time Islamist groups in Nigeria have mounted an attack over Christmas; in 2019 Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) beheaded 10 Christians on Christmas Day while Boko Haram killed seven during a 2019 Christmas Eve raid.

Bishop Doeme told ACN: “Boko Haram are against the Christians. The attacks are to make the communities scared and to spoil the Christmas celebrations. They don’t want Christians to enjoy Christmas.”

He added: “The government is struggling to contain Boko Haram. There are saboteurs who leak information to Boko Haram even when they are in the bush.”

Bishop Doeme ended by thanking ACN and its donors for their support: “Our greatest support comes from ACN and without ACN the diocese would collapse. We will continue to pray for you and cherish you.”

This article was first published by Aid to the Church in Need and is republished here with kind permission. To learn more bout ACN’s mission to help the suffering Church, visit www.churchinneed.org

Tags:
Christians in AfricaIslamic Militants
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on Y...
FORGIVING COUPLE
Bret Thoman, OFS
An exorcist teaches 4 steps to forgive
Philip Kosloski
What is the Holy Cloak of St. Joseph?
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Why God loves ordinary stuff: Pope Francis' r...
POPE FRANCIS; Ash Wednesday
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Vatican: Imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday...
D'CRUZ FAMILY
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the family of 12 siblings with a very sp...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.