AFRICA/NIGERIA - "Family threatened by materialism and selfishness", say the Bishops

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - The family "first school of virtue" is threatened by materialism and selfishness, say the Bishops of Nigeria in a statement issued at the end of their Plenary Assembly. In the document, sent to Agenzia Fides, it is stressed that the dominant culture, which poses more and more challenges to the family, is reinforced "by a movie industry and social media that promotes primacy of the erotic and marital infidelity; by pressure groups funded from within and without fighting to impose a redefinition of marriage".
"We cannot speak of challenges to the family without referring to the Boko Haram insurgency and the heightened tension occasioned by the coming general elections", add the Bishops. "The Boko Haram insurgency has not only led to loss of innocent lives, it has also led to separation of members of the same families. Our hearts go to children separated from their parents, especially our beloved daughters, the Chibok girls, and others who have been abducted by mindless terrorists".
The Bishops condemn the use of children for suicide bombings, saying they are "saddened by the use of young and innocent minds indoctrinated by Boko Haram and used as suicide bombers ". "We deplore the fact that young children are used to commit such crimes, and the fact that young Nigerians are used by politicians to intimidate and inflict violence on their political opponents is a disturbing symptom of breakdown of family values in our society", says the message.
The Bishops complain that the campaign "has to be devoid of issues of national interest, but full of threats of violence, falsehood, rumour mongering, mudslinging and suspicion". The statement concludes by calling for greater attention to the family, especially as regards to freedom of education of children. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 26/02/2015)