07/06/2022 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – More than 700 priests gathered last week to protest the violence against Christians in Nigeria. The group was gathered for the funeral of one of my fellow priests Father Vitus Borogo, who was killed in Kaduna State on June 25.
The priests’ emphasis was to call out the Nigerian national government for its lack of response to the persecution faced by Nigerian Christians and its inability to protect the community from nearly constant shootings and kidnappings. The Archbishop of Kaduna noted how difficult this year has been, adding that the situation in Nigeria is worse than it has ever been. Father Borogo was the third priest under his care to be buried in 2022.
Protestors held signs that read, “We are priests, not terrorists,” and “Do we still have a government?”
Father Borogo’s death comes soon after the killing of nearly fifty church members in Ondo State on June 5 and after the kidnapping of Father Christopher Itopa Onotu of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church the day before on June 4. Thankfully, Father Onotu was released on June 30, as confirmed by the diocese of Lokoja.
A heavily Muslim and poorer northern Nigeria is set against the much wealthier and heavily Christian southern Nigeria. These tensions have simmered for years, leading to consistent violence over ethnic, economic, and religious fault lines.
Radical Fulani militants and other bandits often kidnap innocent victims for ransom. These groups, and Boko Haram, are the main perpetrators of these horrific acts.
Please pray for the government of Nigeria to hear the cry of the persecuted church in Nigeria and to have the courage to prosecute those who commit these crimes.
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