Pray, act to end violence against Christians, Nigerian ACC members urge

By ACNS staff
Posted Nov 2, 2012

[Anglican Communion News Service] Members of the Anglican Communion all around the world are being called to pray, fast and act in support of their brothers and sister in Nigeria facing violence and death.

The Most Rev. Ikechi Nwachukwu Nwosu, the Ven Abraham Okorie and Abraham Yisa, the Church of Nigeria’s ACC members, were responding to a similar appeal to Nigerian Anglicans by their primate, the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh.

“We have one week of prayer and fasting from the 12th November for the terrible security situation in Nigeria,” explained Nwosu, archbishop of the Province of Aba, adding he wanted Anglicans across the communion to join them.

Just last week at least seven people were killed and dozens injured in a suicide bombing during Mass at a Roman Catholic church in Kaduna, northern Nigeria. An explosive-laden vehicle drove into the church and detonated its load, ripping a hole in the wall and roof.

Yisa said that this was not an isolated incident. “Churches are being bombed every Sunday, especially in the northern part [of the country]. The situation is that people are refusing to go to church,” he said, “or when they go to church they don’t know whether they’ll return home. Services during the week are disrupted, people are afraid to worship.

“This should not just be a matter of concern for the church in Nigeria, but for the whole Anglican Communion.”

Yisa, who along with Nwosu and Okorie, had just finished Bible study in the nave of Auckland’s Holy Trinity Cathedral, said: “Imagine you’re doing this Bible study and somebody comes in and starts to spray worshipers [with bullets]…”

Nwosu, bishop of Umuahia diocese, said he believed that those who were behind the violence were being funded by parties outside Nigeria, and said he appealed to Anglicans around the world also to lobby their governments to intervene in this situation.