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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

Alaskans experiencing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more frequent and extensive wildfires, deteriorating glaciers, and swift shoreline erosion More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs