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

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: Ahmed from: Gombe
May 14, 2014 5:05 PM
A leader is expected to talk reasonably and sensibly always so as not to mislead his followers and course chaos that he don't imaging its end.

In Response

by: nasalla
May 14, 2014 10:58 PM
the sultan of sokoto including Mahmud gumi trained or spent time in sudan which has a history of sponsoring terrorism. Long as these folks keep going to sudan they will be blood suckers

     

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid