News / Africa

Nigeria Group Warns of Boko Haram Christianity Attacks

Nigerians take part in a protest demanding for the release of secondary school girls abducted from the remote village of Chibok, in Asokoro district in Abuja, Nigeria, May 13, 2014.
Nigerians take part in a protest demanding for the release of secondary school girls abducted from the remote village of Chibok, in Asokoro district in Abuja, Nigeria, May 13, 2014.
Peter Clottey
The national president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), says the alleged conversion of the abducted school girls into Islam by the militant group, Boko Haram, is a direct assault on Christianity aimed at transforming the country into an Islamic state.

CAN is the umbrella body for all Christians in Nigeria with over 80 million membership, according to Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, president of the group.

The abduction of the school girls last month by the violent Islamic extremists attracted global condemnation, and several countries, including the United States and France, volunteered assistance to the Nigerian government to search and free the schools girls.

Oritsejafor says the mere condemnation of the abduction of the school girls doesn’t go far enough to stem the tidal wave of violence perpetrated by the militants. He called on influential Muslim officials to persuade the extremists to stop their violence.

“The situation has gone beyond condemnation. There has to be action backing condemnation,” said Oritsejafor. “A lot of these clerics must find ways to engage these people to sit with them to look for the clerics they believe in so that they can start talking to them and by superior argument begin to find ways to change their mind from this kind of belief.”           

CAN officials contend that the aim of the abduction is to forcefully convert the abducted girls – a majority of whom are Christians – into the Islamic religion.

“How can you forcefully tell the world that these girls have been converted into Islam? It is totally unacceptable,” said Oritsejafor. “It is obvious that there is a strong persecution against Christians in Nigeria, and we will never accept it. In fact, one day when these girls have been released they would go through a cleansing, to cleanse them from whatever they said they put on them. They are not Muslims, they are Christians.”

Oritsejafor says it is unlikely the violent activities of the militants will lead to converting the entire country into Islam.

He says that there is a need for the alleged financiers of the militants to be investigated, arrested and prosecuted for their role in the violent crimes perpetrated against civilians.

“[Muslim leaders] must help us find those that are financing these people. They must begin to expose those that are behind them, [and] those that are working in collaboration with them. This thing has to come to an end,” said Oritsejafor.

He also called on influential Nigerian Muslims to unite and come up with ways to resolve the Boko Haram insurgency.

But some Nigerians say the violence carried out by the extremists affects both Christians and Muslims. They contend that it’s wrong for the Christian community to say it is solely their members being persecuted by the Boko Haram militants.

Oritsejafor disagreed, saying over 1000 churches were blown up, but only three Mosques were destroyed by Boko Haram in 2013.

“When Boko Haram started up to about a year ago, the people that they primarily targeted and are still targeting are Christians. It is churches that they were bombing [and] it is Christian businesses they were destroying. It is just in the last one year that they started going after Muslims, and it is not all Muslims,” said Oritsejafor.

“They go after two sets of Muslims. One: those who do not agree with their doctrine, because they see them as infidels like they see Christians as infidels. Two: they go after some Muslims that they believe are betraying in the sense of giving information to security agents. They also go after these Muslims,” said Oritsejafor.

You May Like

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Richard from: Capetown
May 21, 2014 5:00 AM
Our lord Jesus is a great and powerful God.if boko haram,thinks can harm christians he is out of his mind as watever he can do must know there's God..l declare heavenly power to set the girls free out of boko harams ministries in the name of our Lord Jesus!!


by: brooke
May 17, 2014 11:29 AM
Their koran and the example as set forth by the Prophet of Islam is one of a similar lifestyle. How many wives of the prophet were taken by force after a village raid and their husbands murdered? There was at least Safiya, and Juwairiyah, and Zeynab. The high up clerics know this, hence the lack of outrage.


by: Nabuquduriuzhur from: Oregon
May 15, 2014 2:09 PM
I'm very glad that someone in the major media finally noticed that something was going on in Africa. Since the 1990s, Saharan Africa has had an explosion of Muslim on Christian violence from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, the worst being the genocide by Arabs in northern Sudan. For years the slaughter of Christians was ignored by most NGOs, including human rights organizations. The final death toll was more than 2.5 million.

Feminists didn't even complain about the estimated 50,000+ women who were kidnapped and sold as sexual slaves in the north as toys for the Arabs. At least one Christian organization in this country has been buying them out of slavery, but otherwise it's been ignored. The media loves it's Lady Gaga and its Bieber and so many other unimportant things. People are dying out there for causes unspeakable and it's ignored.


by: ola from: Nigeria
May 15, 2014 9:05 AM
Oritsejafor thechristian president sh'ld not cry more than the bereaved.He's political pastor.This kidnapping doesn't only involved xtians but also Muslims.Every one knew that Nigeria govt are battling lunatics known as book haram.They action is not Islamic,morally wrong,humanly unproductive and legally punishable in court of law.Pastor oritse sh'ld stop insightful comments as indirectly not to help boko haram in their agender of causing tribal-religious unrest.Boko haram re not Muslims bcos they re against Islam despite claiming to be one

In Response

by: Allen from: Africa
May 15, 2014 10:28 AM
@Ola, I wonder when some people will come out and say something bitter to the world... My question goes to Christian Prez! Who is Boko Haram? I'll be happy if he can stand out and answer this Q! I keep my word we're muslim we're not terrorist.


by: Allen from: Africa
May 15, 2014 8:56 AM
We are Muslim,...Please we are not terrorist. Allah Is The Greatest


by: ali baba from: new york
May 15, 2014 4:50 AM
We are facing an international Islamic terrorism. Ten years ago . They started in Afghisstan, , then spreading to Pakistan. Then Libya ,Syria, Mali, Somalia, and Nigeria .the question who is supporting them? . who give them ideology? Who give them the idea to use woman as a goal for their deadly activities. they rape woman in Syria and they get money from Saudi Arabia. they kidnapping girls in Egypt. now in Nigeria., they kidnapped 300 girls. ?

In Response

by: Truesage Idowu from: Lagos Nigeria
May 15, 2014 9:12 AM
The United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Israel, Germany and other friendly allies should help enforce the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and light weapons in Africa. These weapons are being sold by proxy by Sudan who get ammunition from the Arab world, China and Russia. Also the fall out of the Libya war has flooded Africa with enough ammunition to cause Africa harm for a very long time. A clean up of Libya ammunition i.e. both light weapons and weapons of mass destruction is key and the containment of Sudan so that peace can reign in Somalia, Darfur, South Sudan, CAR, DRC, Nigeria and Mali.


by: Sanjay from: India
May 15, 2014 3:39 AM
America is pressurized to send troops to Nigeria not to secure school girls or humanitarian concerns, but to prevent conversion of Christians to Islam by Boko Haram.


by: Dr. Hayem from: UK
May 14, 2014 10:18 PM
The CIA funds Boko Haram, ALL ON RECORD, FACT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


by: Matan Safana from: abuja nigeria
May 14, 2014 7:58 PM
Despite all their false claims its clear, for those who wish to see, that the Bokos do not represent Islam because they are clearly acting against it!
Oritsejafor you and CAN are the main sponsors of Boko haram,each and every person ever caught has been a christian,fear God and preach peace!


by: eddypat from: ohio
May 14, 2014 7:22 PM
Lets just join hands and pray that the prince of peace should have mercy nd bring peace to nija

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid