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Nigerian archbishop urges government to respond to violence against Christians

March 30, 2017

A Nigerian archbishop has called upon his country’s government to “be more proactive” in providing security for Christians.

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos spoke about the “constant and wanton destruction of lives and properties” in the state of Kaduna, in the central part of Nigeria, where herders of the Fulani tribe have frequently attacked farmers. The violence involves religious factors; the Fulani tribesmen are Muslim, while the farmers are Christians. Church leaders estimate that at least 800 people have been killed in the clashes, and complain that the government—which places the casualty figure much lower—has been slow to respond.

Archbishop Kaigama made his appeal for stronger government action during a visit to the site of the latest attacks in southern Kaduna. Remarking on Nigeria’s identity as a multi-religious and multi-ethnic state, he said that political leders must not “be seen to promote the interests of any particular group but to be neutral and to seek the common things that will promote unity, fairness, and equity in the country.”

Nigeria’s north is predominantly Muslim, while the south of the country is mostly Christian or animist. The clashes to which the archbishop referred have occurred mostly in the middle, where the two groups meet.

 
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