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21st of July 2018

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Nigeria: Catholics Remain Steadfast in Face of Violence - ZENIT - English

The violence against Christians in Nigeria has intensified in recent months. In spite of this, the  Nigeria faithful remain steadfast in faith and need our prayers and compassion, according to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

Since the beginning of the year, numerous attacks in Nigeria’s Middle Belt have left over 100 Christians dead and forced a huge number of families to flee for their lives. The Bishops Conference of Nigeria has described the area as “killing fields” due to the increase in violence against the faithful. In the worst atrocity to date, Father Joseph Gor and Father Felix Tyolaha were celebrating early morning Mass at St Ignatius parish, Makurdi diocese, when the extremists struck and started firing at the parishioners indiscriminately. Both priests were killed, along with 17 of the faithful.

The atrocity that took place in Benue State, where 99 percent of the population are Christians, sent shockwaves across the country culminating in peaceful protest led by the Catholic Church. According to ACN church partners in the region, Bishop Wilfred Anagbe from Makurdi Diocese, Islamist nomadic herdsmen are responsible for the recent atrocities.

Bishop Anagbe told ACN: “There is a clear agenda – to Islamise all of the areas that are currently predominantly Christian in the so-called Middle Belt of Nigeria.” So what can we do to help those who are suffering? Thanks to you, Aid to the Church in Need is responding to the crisis through our church partners including bishops, priests, Sisters, and laity.

ACN is providing emergency and pastoral help for internally displaced and refugee families in across the country – and those who have fled to neighboring Cameroon.

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