Nigerian bishop urges non-violent response to killings

Seminarian Michael Nnadi was killed by terrorists (Supplied)

A Nigerian bishop urged worshippers at the funeral of a seminarian killed by terrorists to uphold their faith and demand that the country’s president protect people of all faiths in violence-prone areas of the country. Source: Crux.

“It is time to confront and dispel the clouds of evil that hover over us,” Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto said during his homily on Tuesday at the funeral Mass for Michael Nnadi.

Mr Nnadi, 18, was kidnapped with three other seminarians and the wife of a doctor in January during an attack at the Good Shepherd Seminary in Kakau, in Nigeria’s Kaduna state.

Mr Nnadi and the doctor’s wife were arbitrarily separated from the group and killed. The other seminarians were freed in late January.

The seminarian’s death is the latest in a string of attacks against Christians in Nigeria, who have been targeted by terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, but also by bandits seeking to extort money from the Catholic Church.

Bishop Kukah said President Muhammadu Buhari must respond to his campaign promise prior to the 2015 election to rout terrorist organisations that have targeted Christian communities and small towns with violence, kidnappings and killings.

“The President has displayed the greatest degree of insensitivity in managing the country’s rich diversity,” Bishop Kukah said, charging that Mr Buhari has allowed one group of people to dominate others throughout Nigeria.

“The impression created now is that, to hold a key and strategic position in Nigeria today, it is more important to be a northern Muslim than a Nigerian,” Bishop Kukah said.

He said it was time for the Buhari government to address growing poverty in northern territories that has led to the rise in terrorist organisations.

The bishop also called on Christians to “rise up and defend their faith with all the moral weapons they have.”

“We must become more robust in presenting the values of Christianity, especially our message of love and non-violence, to a violent society. Among the wolves of the world, we must become politically alert, wise as the serpent and humble as the dove,” he said.

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Nigerian bishop urges non-violence in response to terrorist killings (Crux)

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