The kidnapping of four Catholic Nuns in Nigeria’s Omo State on Sunday, August 21 has again highlighted a disquieting reality: there is a deliberate attempt to annihilate Christianity in Africa’s most populous nation.
At least that is what the Director of the Denis Hurley Peace Institute (DHPI)-a peace entity of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) believes.
“I was shocked because I know many priests and religious in that part of the country,” Johan Viljoen told Timescape Magazine in reaction to the news that four Nuns were kidnapped in Nigeria.
“We are dealing here with a sustained campaign to wipe out Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular. No Christian is safe,” he told Timescape Magazine.
On Sunday, August 21, four Nuns of the Sisters of Jesus the Savior Convent were abducted on their way to Church.
“…It is with great pain that we bring to your notice the kidnapping of four of our Sisters,” said the Secretary General of the Sisters of Jesus the Savior, Sister Zita Ihedoro in a release sent to Timescape Magazine.
“…the sad event of their abduction occurred around Okigwe-Umulolo axis this (Sunday, August 21) morning shortly after the Sisters were on their way to the thanksgiving Mass of our Sister.”
The kidnapping and sometimes killing of Christians in Nigeria have become legion, with rising suspicions that the country’s President is complicit in the crimes.
“These accusations are informed by the fact that he (President Muhamadou Buhari) himself is the patron of Miyetti Allah, the Fulanis organization. No “armed gunmen” are ever arrested or stand trial. His government has stood for the right of “cattle herders” to occupy any land. Governors that have tried to reign them in face opposition from the Federal government,” Viljoen said.
Marcela Szymanski, head of Advocacy for Aid to the Church in Need International further explained that daily, “the Islamist extremist and criminals in Nigeria abduct the sole providers of social services to the most vulnerable, leaving thousands destitute and hungry.”
And while all this is happening, the government, he said, “looks the other way, and the “West” calls them “preferred partners” because they have oil and gas!”
“It is likely that members of the party in power get kickbacks from oil majors, they could not care less about the starvation of their own citizens! We see the same pattern in most mineral-rich nations, who count among the poorest in the world,” Szymanski said.