Baroness Caroline Cox, a leading religious freedom campaigner, has challenged Christians in Southern Nigeria to do more to help persecuted Christians in the north of the country.
“I hope that some of the very wealthy churches in the South will do more to help the suffering brothers and sisters here in your own country and part of your own Church,” she said in an interview with Global Christian News in Nigeria.
While many people displaced by the Islamic terror groups in central and mostly northeastern parts of Nigeria suffer from starvation and intense persecution from Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen, many christians in the southern parts of Nigeria have little or no clear understanding of the challenges the churches face in the North. Many churches who are very rich with the funds to assist in rebuilding destroyed Christian communities barely send any aid.
The United Nations humanitarian coordinator, Peter Lundberg, said Tuesday that 400,000 children are in critical need of food, and 75,000 could starve to death “in the few months ahead of us.”
Cox challenged the rich Christian south to see the entire Christians in the middle belt and northern Nigeria as one indivisible family, irrespective of denominations, “I have been in Jos many times, sometimes in your darkest days, in the terrible times of crises, attacks, violence, killings and tragedy and I wept with your people. When one part of the body of Christ suffers we all suffer. I would have hoped to have seen more support from the peaceful parts of Nigeria and the very wealthy churches particularly in the South for brothers and sisters suffering up here,” she said.
Baroness Cox is outgoing leader of HART (Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust) and was leading a group visiting areas of Nigeria devastated by Islamist violence. The HART team narrowly missed an ambush by Islamic cattle herdsmen in Ropp, a village destroyed by Boko Haram on their visit to Jos.
Cox said, “We come all the way from England… It’s a privilege to be here to meet our persecuted brothers and sisters. We try to be worthy of the faith they are living and dying for and I think we should all try to be worthy of the faith that the Nigerian Christians are living and dying for up here in this part of Nigeria in the central belt and in the North.”