British Catholic Politician Demands Justice for Christians Killed in Nigeria at Christmas

Margaret and Dominic Attah with Lord Alton and other parliamentarians on #RedWednsday 2023. Credit: ACN

British politician Lord Alton of Liverpool has called on the U.K. government to urgently address persecution in Nigeria, starting with last year’s Christmas attacks that left over 200 Christians in Nigeria’s Plateau State dead.

The former Liberal and Liberal Democrat MP appealed to the UK parliament, to take action to address jihadist extremism, which, according to a Tuesday, January 16 report by the charity foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), is driving terrorist attacks across Nigeria.

The Catholic peer who serves on Westminster’s Joint Committee on Human Rights asked Lord Benyon, the UK Minister of State for Climate, Environment and Energy and others in the chamber, “Who is being brought to justice for the further 200 killings in Plateau State in Nigeria just two weeks ago, over Christmas?”

Lord Alton demanded urgent action to identify and bring to trial the perpetrators of the attacks that started on December 23 last year, continuing through Christmas, as well as other extremist atrocities in the West African country.

Also to be looked into, as demanded by the Catholic politician, is the 2022 Pentecost Sunday church massacre that left over 50 Christians dead in Nigeria’s Ondo State.


Speaking at a debate in the House of Lords on January 11, Lord Alton recalled meeting Dominic and Margaret Attah, survivors of the attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, who visited the UK for ACN #RedWednesday events last year.

“Margaret’s legs were so badly damaged by the jihadist bomb that they had to be amputated,” Lord Alton recalled, adding, “The couple wanted to know – and so do I – why no one has been brought to justice in this culture of impunity.”

“Why is Leah Sharibu – whose case I have raised regularly in your Lordships’ House and whose mother, Rebecca, I escorted to the Palace of Westminster so that she could meet Members of both Houses – still in captivity, having been abducted, raped and forcibly converted at the age of 14?” the Catholic politician queried.

Lord Alton found it “absurd” that some are blaming climate change for the atrocities being meted against Christians in Nigeria.

Addressing Lord Benyon, Lord Alton said, “I would like him to look particularly at the situation in Nigeria and the absurd suggestion made … by a Head of State [Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland] that climate change was the cause of 40 people being murdered in a church in Ondo on Pentecost Sunday (2022).”

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He added, “Climate change and cuts to aid certainly impact development, but so does jihadist ideology, and we should not be frightened in saying so.”

The peer went on to say that persecution and conflict are major drivers in the displacement of 110 million people worldwide, and explained, “These drivers destroy lives, such as those that I have just mentioned, and set back development.”

Lord Alton also mentioned #RedWednesday, ACN’s annual initiative shining a light on Christian persecution around the world.

#RedWednesday 2023 focused on the growing problems in Africa where there has been a dramatic rise in violent conflict and persecution.

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