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Nigerian Christians want peace, not vengeance for 'Boko Haram'

2013-10-20

Boko Haram is a terrorist group known for its ruthlessness. Its presence is a common reality in Nigeria. Part of its goal is to impose Sharia law, which is based on muslim extremism. The groups target are mostly Christians.   

JAVIER MENÉNDEZ ROS 
Aid to the Church in Need (Spain) 
"The problem is that Nigeria has been dealing with this terrorist group for more than two years. Boko Haram, translates to 'Western education is sin.' It's determined to drive out Christians, and everything associated with Christians. So this creates a permanent state of war with the current government. The group is waging war with Christian civilization.” 

Spain's manager for Aid to the Church in Need has seen this reality first hand. Christians must go to Mass inside churches surrounded by high walls. The entrances are usually guarded by armed men to prevent worshipers from getting killed. But Menéndez Ros added, that instead of vengeance, Christians would prefer to forgive and find peace. 

JAVIER MENÉNDEZ ROS 
Aid to the Church in Need (Spain)
"We interviewed people who were attacked or wounded in these attacks. Some hast lost an eye, others were full of scars from the attacks, but they all had something in common. They all said, 'We forgive them. We want peace and reconciliation. This is a widely shared view of the Christian community.” 

Boko Haram is the branch of Al Qaeda that operates in Nigeria. With time, the group has gained access to more sophisticated weapons, and their attacks are getting bloodier. Recenlty, the group killed more than 40 college students. They also set aflame their building, when the students tried to escape. 

JAVIER MENÉNDEZ ROS 
Aid to the Church in Need (Spain)  
"They told us that as long as the money continues flowing, and their donors keep financing the terrorist group, the attacks will continue. A lot will depend on how seriously the government in power handles the fight against this terrorist group.” 

The most recent report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom showed that Boko Haram has killed more than 12,000 people in Nigeria. 


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