NIGERIA: AMONG MOST NEGLECTED HUMANITARIAN CRISES IN THE WORLD
by Bradley Eli, M.Div., MA.Th. • ChurchMilitant.com • June 14, 2016
Christians ravaged by Muslim terrorists are also persecuted by Muslim citizens
WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) – Nigeria is fracturing along religious fault lines while the world looks on — so testified Elijah Brown, executive vice president of the 21st Century Wilberforce Institute, who spoke Thursday in Washington, D.C. at a news conference on conditions in Nigeria, an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation.
Acording to him, the country is being ravaged by Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram, considered the most lethal terrorist organization in the world in terms of numbers killed. Brown, who recently returned from touring Nigeria related,
What is unfolding in northern and central Nigeria is one of the worst, most neglected humanitarian crises in the world — millions affected, thousands slaughtered, insecurity rampant, children ravaged by malnutrition, schools closed, houses of worship destroyed, and entire communities burned to the ground, and yet it is neglected.
Brown’s organization released a report the previous day titled “Nigeria: Fractured and Forgotten Discrimination and Violence Along Religious Fault Lines.”
Brown noted that upwards of 15 million people in northeastern Nigeria “have been impacted’ by terrorist aggression while more than two million are without homes and living in refugee camps. He emphasized that many refugees are living with family members or outside of refugee camps, so the actual number of displaced is actually between five to seven million, according to U.N. estimates. This makes the disaster “second only to Syria globally,” the report stated.
Christians are not only suffering from terrorist organization but from Muslim citizens as well. Brownhighlighted “a foundation of discrimination that exists throughout Northern and Central Nigeria against religious and ethnic minorities” that is “far greater and far more substantive than is often considered.”
This religious persecution includes 12 northern states that have “adopted Sharia [Law] as a reigning principle,” said Brown. He added that discrimination included “health care denied to non-Muslims,” the inability to procure “land for church construction,” disenfranchisement, and “predominantly Christian areas” left without sufficient security forces.
Rabbi David Saperstein also made a recent trip to Nigeria. He witnessed that Christians cannot trust Muslim neighbors in northern Nigeria since the incursions by Boko Haram because of suspicion that they cooperated with the terror group.
Also speaking at the conference in D.C. was “Mary,” the alias of the mother of a girl abducted by Boko Haram. Mary was the first mother to speak about the more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls abducted by the terrorist group in 2014.
She related what her daughter Amina told her after escaping terrorist captivity. “Those that stick to their faith of Christianity said that they will not turn their back on their God. No matter sunshine, rainfall or under the shade, (God) is there with them.”
Bradley Eli, M.Div., MA.Th. is a staff writer for ChurchMilitant.com Follow Bradley on Twitter: @BradleyLEli
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