AFRICA/NIGERIA - Cardinal Onaiyekan’s prudence on the news of Christian women abducted by Boko Haram and forcibly converted to Islam
Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - I have heard of these cases, but it is difficult to evaluate them because there are so many "rumours" ", says to Fides Agency Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan Archbishop of Abuja, with regards to the allegations of Christian women abducted by the Islamic Boko Haram sect and forced to marry men belonging to the movement after being forcibly converted to Islam.
"I am not aware of specific and proven cases. Even the Nigerian press has dedicated little space to news of this nature, obviously because it has found, so far, no solid evidence", said the Cardinal.
"That there are kidnappings is a fact, but I am not aware that there is a systematic campaign to kidnap Christian women in order to convert them to force them to marry Boko Haram members. This does not mean that there are rapes of war. These things happen unfortunately in conflict zones", continued Cardinal Onaiyekan who adds: " I am sorry to say but there are people who spread rumors which are not controlled in order to accentuate the sense of persecution of Christians living in areas most at risk in Nigeria. I do not think this helps us. It is always better to tell the truth".
According to the Cardinal, Boko Haram "has suffered serious blows" inflicted by the Nigerian army which in May launched a major offensive in three States in the north of the Federation. "Boko Haram is not what it was only 7 months ago. This does not mean that it has been destroyed, but now we are faced with a set of bandit gangs dedicated to robbery rather than a guerrilla-structured organization", concluded the Cardinal. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 25/11/2013)
- 2015-01-26 - The Bishop of Maiduguri: "Boko Haram could conquer the entire north-east before the end of the election"
- 2015-01-23 - The Bishops: "too many politicians resort to slander and incite violence" during the election campaign
- 2015-01-16 - Malnutrition, trauma, violence: urgent medical assistance to the survivors of the attack committed by Boko Haram
- 2015-01-12 - "Future hope for a major demonstration to take place just like the one in Paris to say no to Boko Haram" proposes Mgr. Kaigama
- 2015-01-09 - New violence committed by Boko Haram: perhaps 2,000 dead, several churches burned
- 2015-01-08 - Boko Haram is now a regional problem
- 2014-12-29 - The IDPs in Maiduguri celebrate Christmas among hope and fears of suicide bombs
- 2014-12-17 - The parishes of Maiduguri cares for more than 5,000 displaced people fleeing Boko Haram
- 2014-12-01 - Boko Haram: assault on the capital of Yobe, new victims over the weekend
- 2014-11-29 - Mgr. Kaigama: "Boko Haram attacks Muslims who do not think like them"