Bishop: Nigerian Violence Isn't Anti-Christian

Says Killings Are Not Targeting Church

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ABUJA, Nigeria, JULY 28, 2009 ( The chairman of the Social Communications Commission of the Nigerian bishops’ conference is affirming that the two-day wave of killings in the north of the country is not targeting Christians.

Bishop Emmanuel Badejo, coadjutor of Oyo, Nigeria, affirmed this in a statement to Catholic Information Service for Africa.

The violence, which has claimed some 400 lives in northern Nigeria, is being perpetrated by a fundamentalist Islamic group called “Boko Haram.”

The confrontation began when the group staged a raid on a police station Sunday in an effort to establish a Taliban-style regime based on a strict observance of Shariah law.

Today, government soldiers set up road blocks and curfews to quell the conflicts, and the prelate noted that the authorities are assuring the public that the situation is under control.

“As things stand,” the bishop said, “there is no report of Christians being killed or churches being attacked, but religious leaders have called on the government to protect law-abiding citizens and religious structures.”

Some 3,000 people have been displaced as they fled their homes to seek refuge in military barracks and hospitals.

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