“The Christians of Nigeria, both Catholic and Protestant, deserve attention, recognition and relief now,” Anderson said. “Nigeria's Christians should be able to live in peace and practice their faith without fear."
Anderson’s statement comes after news of another kidnapping of a Catholic priest, Fr. Valentine Ezeagu of the Congregation of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy. He was kidnapped by four armed men in the southeastern state of Imo, while driving to his father’s funeral on Dec. 15.
At least eight priests and seminarians have been kidnapped in Nigeria in 2020, including an 18 year-old seminarian Michael Nnadi who was killed earlier in the year. Last week, hundreds of schoolboys in the country’s northwestern state of Katsina were kidnapped and remain missing; the terror group Boko Haram admitted culpability for the attack.
The country’s bishops have condemned the violence against Christians; Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Abuja stated on Dec. 15 that “[t]he level of incidents and the apparent impunity have become unacceptable and cannot be excused, for whatever reason.”
Anderson in August announced a new initiative of the Knights focused on religious persecution in Nigeria. Christians have suffered numerous attacks by militant Fulanis and Boko Haram, from killings to kidnappings to atrocities committed against women.
The group is funding the Institute for Ancient and Threatened Christianity (IATC), which collects evidence and testimonies of Christian victims of atrocities to assist with international determinations such as the State Department’s CPC designation.
A CPC designation carries with it certain punitive measures, although Brownback said the State Department waived the obligation for the President to act on those measures, with respect to Nigeria and several other countries.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained on Dec. 10, “This is not the case that we want to call [Nigeria] out for the sake of punishment. We want to assist them in moving in the right direction.”
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At ACI Africa, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news from Africa, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church - so that you can grow in your Catholic faith.
When you subscribe to the ACI Africa Updates, we will send you a daily email with links to the news you need.
Use the form below to stay informed, and to tell us where we can send the ACI Africa Updates!
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.