Catholic priest burnt alive in Nigeria: Protestant churchgoers kidnapped
Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Islamists have been killing Christians for many years in Nigeria. Hence, the latest murder of a Catholic priest who was burnt alive is an endless list of attacks against Christians in Nigeria.
The Catholic News Agency reports, “The body of Father Isaac Achi was found among the charred parish building of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church on Jan. 15, according to the Catholic Diocese of Minna, Nigeria.”
Catholic Review says, “It was not the first attack against Father Achi, who in 2011 survived an attack by Boko Haram, the north Nigerian militant group, during a Christmas church service. The attack left 44 parishioners dead. He also had been shot while blessing a child and had survived an abduction by militants.”
Indeed, while Christians were reeling from the brutal murder of a Catholic priest and another clergyman shot (but survived the same attack); it emerged that seven women and two young children were kidnapped at a Pentecostal Protestant church in northwest Katsina.
In this attack, the Christian pastor was physically beaten while his parishioners were attacked. Search parties are looking for seven women and two children.
Voice of America reports, “The country is also facing communal clashes over land between farmers and herders as well as attacks from Islamist militants. The violence, which outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to address when elected eight years ago, is one of the major issues ahead of the elections on February 25.”
NIGERIA – AND WIDER ANTI-CHRISTIAN PROBLEMS
The government of Nigeria and the media sometimes seek to take the Islamist angle out of some attacks. Instead, they are attributed to “bandits” or “motorbike gang attacks.” However, this is highly misleading.
If Sunni Islamist groups claim responsibility – for example, Boko Haram or ISIS (Islamic State in West Africa Province) – then the Islamist angle can’t be taken out. However, they use “bandit” and “motorbike gang attacks” concerning Bello Turji loyalists and others.
Turji loyalists care little about killing ordinary Christians and Muslims. However, they have an Islamist goal to curtail Christianity and impose Islamism on society in their region of Nigeria.
Recently, he requested that all Christian churches be closed in the state of Zamfara. Hence, the utilization of “bandit” is a mass distortion internally and externally by the politically correct media – and the government that fears sectarianism.
Turji wrote, “I want the Emir of Shinkafi, the governor of Zamfara and the president, to look up to Allah and his Prophet.”
He continued, “I want to assure you that we are not in contention with the government of Nigeria and we do not want any other country apart from this.”
Turji loyalists are regionally based and don’t seek the Islamist aspirations of Boko Haram or ISIS (ISWAP) throughout Nigeria. Instead, it is a fusion of anti-Christian ambitions in northern areas, ethnic nationalism, and regional dynamics – and to entail the region is Islamic-based and where Christianity is outlawed and uprooted.
Catholic priests and Protestant pastors are often killed or attacked in Nigeria. For example, Vatican News last year reported, “The Catholic Dioceses of Auchi and Kaduna mourn the deaths of Fr. Christopher Odia and Fr. Vitus Borogo, who were killed in the Nigerian states of Edo and Kaduna over the weekend.”
The National Catholic Register reports, “More Christians are killed for their faith in Nigeria than in any other country worldwide — at least 4,650 in 2021, and nearly 900 in the first three months of 2022 alone.”
It seems that 2023 will follow a similar pattern for the embattled Christians of Nigeria.
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