Nigeria becoming “Talibanized”
Fr. Obiora Ike, Director of the Catholic Institute for Development, Justice and Peace in Nigeria’s Enugu state tells Aid to the Church in Need that the country has reached a “new level” of violence following the recent attacks in the north of Nigeria that occurred between the 24th and 29th of July.
The violence began in the predominantly Muslim Bauchi state in the north of Nigeria, before spreading to nearby Yobe, Kano and Borno states. In Borno more than 100 people died during attacks on churches by radical Islamists on the 27th and 28th. Much of the violence stems from radicals demanding the imposition of Shari‘a law.
According to ACN’s 2008 report on Christians oppressed for their faith, Persecuted and Forgotten?, Christian communities in the 12 Shari‘a states have experienced widespread religious intolerance and discrimination. This includes false accusations of Christians blaspheming Islam, the demolition of Christian places of worship, and the abduction and forced conversion of teenagers to Islam, especially girls.