MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, May 13, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) – Five thousand Catholics total have been killed in a single diocese in Nigeria, according to a report from a Catholic charity.
Aid to the Church in Need is reporting that in the diocese of Maiduguri in northeastern Nigeria, Boko Haram has destroyed 350 churches and driven 100,000 people from their homes, leaving thousands widowed and orphaned.
The Islamic terrorist group has had a stronghold in northeastern Nigeria for several years, declaring part of the territory a caliphate last year. Maiduguri, with a population of around 1 million, has been the site of multiple bomb attacks, as well as abductions and forced marriages. Boko Haram's first massacre there took place in the summer of 2009, when more than a thousand Christians were executed for their faith. In 2012, the Islamic militants targeted churches and Christian businesses for destruction, and since then the city has been riddled with suicide bombings and other attacks.
The head of the diocese, Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme, made international headlines last month when he said he received a vision of Our Lord, who told him the Rosary would defeat Boko Haram.