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ICC NOTE: There is freedom of religion in Nigeria but little is done about the persecution of Christians. If you will take note of the end of this article you will find another example of how Christians are oppressed in expressing their faith.

Archbishop Rebukes Political Leaders for Escalating Nigeria Persecution

Posted: Friday, May 19 , 2006

Christianity Today

Archbishop Peter Akinola, the Primate of Nigeria, has condemned the political and religious unrest in the country. In an address to his diocesan synod, on 13th May at All Saint’s Cathedral he rebuked the political leaders in Nigeria , commenting that they had failed to provide a “clear vision” for the development of the nation.

Insisting that the future of Nigeria had to lie in a true democracy, the Archbishop told the Church that it had to be the body to bring this about and urged members to work toward this goal.

He continued, “For as long as the ballot is the deciding factor, let us learn to use it well in a way that will honour God and promote the well being for the Nigerian people in addition to strengthening the judiciary with adequate funding and incorruptible judges that money cannot buy.”

However, despite speaking passionately about the nation’s current predicament, Rev Akinola also insisted that restraint and correct temperament had to be used.

“These perilous times call for restrain and extreme care,” he said.

Nigeria is currently in political turmoil, with a proposed 3rd term set for President Olusegun Obasanjo, the country is now seeing disputes amongst factions, as well as an increase in sectarian violence, becoming a regularly seen part of its society’s landscape.

This can be seen clearly by the fact that four separate assassination attempts have been made on Bishop Ali Baba Lamido in the past year, according to the Church of Nigeria . Bishop Lamido, a convert from Islam, has explained how 20 men attacked his home in April, killing a porter in the assault.

He told how people no longer feel safe in the country. He said, “People are attacked on the highways and in their homes.”

But the problems are not just religious, but tribal and political feuds have seen Nigeria descend into, at times, a chaotic and confused nation.

He called for the government to bring a stop to Islamic extremist attacks against Christians in the country.

In Ode-Aye, followers of the Oba tribal religion, attempted to kill two Anglican priests for holding Christian worship services during an annual Okute festival. The Oba people had tried to impose a 21-day ban on any Christian worship being carried out whilst their festival was ongoing. So as a Eucharist was held at St Christopher’s Church, the angry mob beat them unconscious and burnt down the church, report The Church of England newspaper.