Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "According to recent statistics, some 6,000 Nigerian Christians have been killed since 2015 by, mostly, Boko Haram and militant Fulani pastoralists, which have committed terrorist attacks against Christian farmers", reads the letter sent to the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN by the President of COMECE (Catholic Church in the European Union), His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Claude Cardinal Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg.
In expressing their solidarity with the Nigerian confreres, COMECE calls "the Eu, its Member States and the international community to use diplomatic, political and financial instruments to assist Nigerian authorities to stop the violence, bringing the criminals to justice, supporting the victims and fully including Christians (47% of the national population) in all State structures and levels of administrations - including the police and armed forces".
In his message, Cardinal Hollerich recalls that "the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria condemned the Federal Government for failing its primary duty of protecting the lives of citizens and lamented that the "culture of death is becoming embedded into our daily lives". In addition, Nigerian Bishops clearly expressed that the ongoing violence, in reference to the Fulani herdsmen, "can no longer be treated as mere clash between pastoralists and farmers".
The European Parliament denounced the situation in its recent resolution of 16 January 2020 on Nigeria, deploring the recent terrorist attacks carried out by jihadist groups and the ‘your land or your blood’ policy carried out by Fulani militants, which force farmers to abandon their land to avoid being killed (see Fides, 18/6/2020).
The Parliament also condemned the constant discrimination suffered by Christians in the Nigerian regions where sharia is applied.
The situation in Nigeria is monitored by COMECE, which contributed to the public debate in preparation for the European Parliament January 2020 resolution. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 7/7/2020)
AFRICA/NIGER - "We have joy in our hearts despite the violence" write the catechists from the Niger-Burkina Faso border area