Priest Calls for Greater Attention and Support for the Persecuted Church in Nigeria
06/11/2019 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – Father John Bakeni of Maiduguri has called for more attention and support for persecuted Christians in Nigeria. This call comes as reports of attacks by militant Fulani herdsmen in the northern part of the country continue to increase in both ferocity and frequency leaving more Christians, wounded, fatherless and in fear for their future.
Speaking to ACN about the insecurity faced by persecuted Christians in Nigeria, Father Bakeni said, “We consider each day we live in safety a blessing because we do not know what will happen the next day.”
Father Bakeni also explained that the violent attacks on Christians by Boko Haram and Fulani militants are only the most visible examples of Christian persecution in Nigeria. In addition to attacks by extremists, Christians also face a wide range of discrimination in Northern Nigeria. For example, churches struggle to get approval to be built and Christian women have reported being kidnapped, raped, and forced into Islamic marriages.
As a result, Father Bakeni highlighted that there exists fear in many Christian communities that is preventing them from cultivating their farmland and living their daily lives. According to Father Bakeni, these Christians are not producing crops due to the fear of being kidnapped or killed.
Father Bakeni has seen and worked with many persecuted Christians who have tried to recuperate after an attack. It is for this reason that he is calling for more attention and support from all groups, both Muslim and Christian alike, to help the persecuted church in Nigeria.
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