AFRICA/NIGERIA - Cardinal Onaiyekan: "Boko Haram insurgency is an anomaly in the socio-religious environment of the Nigerian nation which does not truly reflect the Country’s Muslim/Christian relationship"
Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - Nigeria is "the greatest Islamo-Christian nation in the world" where the two major religions in the Country live in harmony with each other and with the faithful of other religions. This was stated by Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, in a paper presented during a seminar on religious freedom organized by the German Bishops' Conference, recently held in Muenster.
As a result, says Cardinal Onaiyekan the Boko Haram insurgency is an anomaly in the socio-religious environment of the Nigerian nation which does not truly reflect the Country’s Muslim/Christian relationship. "Because of our occasional and sporadic outburst of ethno-religious violent clashes, there is the unfortunate tendency to overlook the very important fact that in the normal lives of our people, there is a commendable measure of peaceful and harmonious living together across religious lines" the Cardinal added.
According to Cardinal Onaiyekan, the answer to the violence carried out by Boko Haram cannot be just military, but must also include political and religious dialogue. The policy, according to the Cardinal, has its share of responsibility because some political parties have facilitated group actions or have deliberately refused to assist the central government in dealing with the situation that has arisen in the north-east, Boko Haram’s land of action.
"But it seems that the situation is changing," said the Cardinal". "All the political forces have now realized that we are facing a common menace and all need to join hands to deal with it".
The Nigerian authorities have announced that in the first three months of 2014 more than a thousand people have been killed in attacks carried out by the sect, and in the same time period, 249 446 people have fled their homes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 28/03/2014)
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- 2014-07-07 - More than two thousand women widowed largely by the Boko Haram insurgency assisted by the Diocese of Maiduguri
- 2014-06-30 - New attacks in the north: the Bishop of Maiduguri, "the human mind cannot understand what is going on"
- 2014-06-26 - "Let us seek the path of dialogue to end violence", says to Fides Cardinal Onaiyekan
- 2014-06-11 - The Bishops: "necessary to ensure the rights of all religions throughout the Country"
- 2014-06-10 - "Yes to amnesty for Boko Haram, as long as there is sincere repentance and compensation for the victims" says Cardinal Onaiyekan
- 2014-06-06 - The Bishops announce six months of prayer for peace in Nigeria
- 2014-06-06 - "Boko Haram threatens the unity of the army", says Cardinal Onaiyekan to Fides
- 2014-05-28 - Boko Haram: For Cardinal Onaiyekan "It is not enough to condemn violence alone, but it is also necessary to condemn intollerant positions"
- 2014-05-23 - "The kidnapping of the girls in Chibok has united the Country", said the Bishop of Sokoto