West & Central Africa

Catholics to protest Nigeria’s killings

All Catholic in Nigeria have been called out for a street protest against the killing of Christians by Fulani Islamic cattle herders in the predominantly Christian Middle Belt region of the country.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, announced that a nation-wide protest will take place on Tuesday, 22 May. The protest has also been fixed to coincide with the funeral of two priests and 17 parishioners killed during a morning mass, 24 April, at St Ignatius Catholic Church, Ukpor-mbalom parish at Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State, central Nigeria.

The statement by the Catholic Bishops said: “Bishops who can make it to Makurdi for the funeral Mass are encouraged to do so, as we pray that this directive be communicated to the clergy, religious and the faithful in the most effective way possible,”

Nigerian Catholic Bishops called on President Buhari to step down and the Christian Association of Nigeria said it will support the impeachment of the President for complacency and refusal to act against the Islamic Herdsmen who have been designated the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world.

“He should no longer continue to preside over the killing fields and mass graveyard that our nation has become…it is time for him to choose the path of honor and consider stepping aside to save the nation from total collapse,” the Bishops said.

In April the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom, said Nigeria is a “Country of Particular Concern” due to the “systemic, ongoing, and egregious” religious freedom violations.

 

Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos

Image Credits” Google Images/Catholic/Bishops and Buhari/Protests