Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Nigerian cardinal sees ‘mixed motives’ behind religious violence

Catholic World News - June 21, 2013

Speaking in Milan, Nigeria’s leading prelate said that “religious violence in Nigeria is very often with mixed motives.”

“What appears as religious violence may actually be due to ethnic, political or socioeconomic reasons,” said Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja. “For example, where two neighboring or even overlapping ethnic groups are fighting over scarce resources, if one is largely Christian and the other is largely Muslim, their struggles and their battles become battles between Christians and Muslims, even though religion may have little or no part to play in the origin and course of the conflict.”

“The age-old antagonism between farmers and pastors, the story of Cain and Abel, is continuing even today,” he continued. “Because one side is seen as Christian and the other group is perceived as Muslim, the conflict is seen as a religious war. Cases where we have violence for purely religious reasons are indeed very rare.”

“Terrorism is something new in our country,” he said as he spoke on the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram. Although the group has foreign links, “the Muslim community in Nigeria cannot deny them, as it has tried to do for long, even though it is encouraging to know that they do not represent the authentic face of Islam in our country.”

While “the house of Islam” must “put its own house in order, we Christians, on our part, need to have positive attitude to Islam in general, so that along with our brother Muslims, we can jointly face the challenge of Islamic terrorism,” he concluded.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($24,977 to go):
$150,000.00 $125,022.96
17% 83%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The cardinal who can't let go 2 hours ago
Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17