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Nigeria: bishops urge presidential action against Islamist terrorists

Catholic World News - July 25, 2011

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria is urging President Goodluck Jonathan to take stronger action against Boko Haram, an Islamist group that has been waging a campaign of terror in the northern part of the nation.

Founded in Maiduguri in 2002, Boko Haram (the words mean “Western education is a sin”) seeks the imposition of Sharia in Nigeria. Boko Haram’s founder, the late Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf, told the BBC in 2009 that

there are prominent Islamic preachers who have seen and understood that the present Western-style education is mixed with issues that run contrary to our beliefs in Islam. Like rain. We believe it is a creation of God rather than an evaporation caused by the sun that condenses and becomes rain. Like saying the world is a sphere. If it runs contrary to the teachings of Allah, we reject it.

15% of the nation’s 146.5 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics. An estimated 50% are Muslim, 25% are Protestant, and 10% retain indigenous beliefs.

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