Abuja, 22 February, 2020 / 3:52 am (ACI Africa).
Against the backdrop of insecurity in Nigeria, Catholic Bishops in the West African country have resolved to have all Catholics demonstrate their solidarity with the victims of kidnappings and murder by organizing a Prayer Protest while wearing black at the start of the Lenten Season February 26.
“I have been directed by the Administrative Board of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) to communicate to you that in the face of the current security situation, the Church needs to speak out in word and action against the level of insecurity in the country,” reads part of a statement signed by the Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Fr. Zacharia Nyantiso Samjumi.
In the statement seen by ACI Africa, the Board directed that “on Ash Wednesday, 26 February 2020, all Catholics, in solidarity with the many kidnapped and killed persons, stage a protest wearing black” and that all the dioceses in Africa’s most populous nation are expected to organize a Prayer Protest.
In a follow-up message to Parish Priests, the Board directed, “On Sunday 1st of March, there shall be no evening Mass in our City Parishes. That evening, we shall have a peaceful prayer protest against the incessant killings and insecurity in our country.”
Nigeria has borne the brunt of armed militants who have been orchestrating murders and kidnappings that have seemed to target Christians including priests, seminarians and the lay faithful.