Wiping Out Christians in Nigeria

News: World News
by Martina Moyski  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  May 31, 2022   

Polish MP challenges trend; US mum

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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - In the aftermath of the gruesome murder of a young Christian woman in Nigeria earlier this month, a Polish member of Parliament is urging the European Union to intervene to protect Christians in that country.

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Christian student Deborah Yakubu

Tomasz Poręba, a member of Poland's Law and Justice Party, demanded answers from the EU about what actions it will take to ensure religious freedom for Christ's followers. Like so many around the world, Poręba was aghast at the horrific death of a young woman at the hands of a Muslim mob.

"Since 2009, when the fundamentalist group Boko Haram was founded, the situation has been deteriorating," Poręba commented. "The efforts to create an Islamic state in Africa have been gaining momentum, and thus the efforts to completely eliminate Christianity."

The victim, Christian student Deborah Yakubu, was cornered at an outer wall of her university, stoned and burned alive by a Muslim mob. Fellow students accused Yakubu of blasphemy for reportedly disagreeing with Islamic propaganda disseminated on social media.

The barbaric incident took place at Shehu Shagari College of Education in the northwestern state of Sokoto, a center of Islamic extremism known as the "Seat of the Caliphate."

The EU can no longer be deaf to the tragedy of Christians.

Muslim locals deemed the subsequent arrest of two suspects a direct act against the religion of Islam, thus generating more violence, with another mob attacking Holy Family Catholic Cathedral in Sokoto.

Poręba insisted, "The EU can no longer be deaf to the tragedy of Christians," pointing out that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world today. 

This recent event is merely one in a litany of ever more frequent attacks on Christians in Nigeria.

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On May 25 — just days after Yakubu's death — armed men stormed St. Patrick's Catholic Church, also in Sokoto, kidnapping two priests and two children. 

Earlier in May, 29 Christians, including children, were hacked to death in Nigeria's central plateau region.

The Biden administration removed Nigeria from its list of countries with religious freedom concerns.

Davidson Malison, national publicity director of the Nigerian Irigwe Development Association, told the Epoch Times, "The attacks have become a daily affair, as the marauders have assumed [they are] an 'immuned' set of people and are feeling untouchable, daring authorities concerned."

A representative for Aid to the Church in Need, a papal charity, decried the ongoing persecution of Christians:

Not a week goes by without news of successive kidnappings or religious killings of Christians. The terrorist activities of Boko Haram in the last 13 years have resulted in the death of over 40,000 Christians only because they were followers of Christ. ...

The government in Nigeria is deaf to [the death of Yakubu] as well as to many others. The European Parliament is also not interested [and] has recently rejected the motion for a debate on the persecution of Nigeria's Christians.

Closely tied to Al Qaeda, Boko Haram is seen as an umbrella group under which forces seeking to eliminate Christianity and impose Shariah law mobilize. It is sometimes called the "Nigerian Taliban."

The name "Boko Haram" literally means "Western education is forbidden." The meaning is eerily evocative of the kidnapping of over 200 mostly Christian schoolgirls in 2014 from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria. 

Some of the young victims were forced to marry their captors; some were used as barter in exchange for Boko Haram prisoners. Some are presumed dead. Over 100 young women are unaccounted for to this day.

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Cdl. John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan

Despite the dangerous situation for Christians in Nigeria, the Biden administration late last year removed Nigeria from its list of countries with religious freedom concerns.

The move drew a sharp rebuke from the United States Commission on International Freedom, which stated that it "finds it unexplainable that the U.S. Department of State did not predesignate Nigeria as a 'country of particular concern' and treated it as a country with no severe religious freedom violations."

Senior Nigerian prelate Cdl. John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan weighed in on the murder of Yakubu. He expressed concern that the perpetrators of her death, who are enrolled in the College of Education, will be assigned to teach children in schools throughout the country. "Only God knows what they are going to be teaching the children in class," the 78-year-old Onaiyekan lamented.

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