“Mummy, why isn’t the world standing up for us too?”
Amongst the many cartoons that have been doing the rounds in the last week, there’s one that shows victims of the Nigeria massacre forlornly looking down on the Paris protests. A child asks, “Mummy, why isn’t the world standing up for us too?”
Just before the Kouachi brothers unleashed their shooting spree on an office in Paris, on 7 January, Boko Haram attacked the Nigerian town of Baga, terrorising and killing at least 150 people.
Some witnesses say there may have been as many as 2,000 victims, many of whom drowned while fleeing to Chad. Unlike events in France, the attack on Baga had no live broadcast.
There were no reporters present, nobody tweeted for help or texted the police. Gruesome pictures were posted later but were largely ignored, especially in Nigeria.
Because of the understandable difficulty of getting information after incidents like these (see BBC report), we don’t yet know how this has impacted Christians. What we do know is that Christians in Nigeria are angry.
In November, hundreds of Christians, displaced by the Islamist insurgency in Nigeria’s north, staged protests to express their outrage over the government’s failure to protect them. Daniel Kadzai, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria for the North Central Zone, declared:
”The Federal Government has toyed with the lives and limbs of the Christians in northern Nigeria for political gains. There is no explanation the government can give as to why the Federal troops will run away from the towns prior to the attack on such towns by Boko Haram.”
The publication of Open Doors’ new World Watch List last week shows that Nigeria, for the first time, has entered the top 10. Last year, 2,484 Christians were killed there for faith-related reasons and 108 churches were attacked. The Church of the Brethren in Nigeria has been the worst affected by the insurgency. In the last five years, over 8,000 of their members have been killed. How would we respond if that were happening in our country?
- That Christians in Nigeria will lead the way in responding to violence with grace and truth
- For the people of Nigeria to choose justice and peace as elections take place next month
- For world leaders, that as well as responding to terror attacks in Paris and Belgium, they will take seriously the extreme persecution and violence faced by Christian communities around the world.
With many thanks for your prayers,
With many peaceful blessings
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