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Pope Francis

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Cardinal on Boko Haram: They don't depend on money, but on their warped convictions

2015-02-19

When it comes to Islamic terrorism, most people think of ISIS and their gruesome assassinations. But there's another terrorism group that also wages death and destruction. It's called Boko Haram, which means 'Western Education is Forbidden.' 

It has a presence in the African countries of Chad, Niger and Cameroon. It's based in Nigeria. 

CARD. JOHN ONAIYEKAN
Archbishop of Abuja (Nigeria) 
"Yes, Boko Haram is bad news. Not only for Christians but for the entire country of Nigeria.” 

Nigerian Cardinal John Onaiyekan knows about the problem all to well. About 50 percent of Nigeria's population is Christian and roughly 48 percent is Muslim. 

The group, he says, doesn't represent the country's Muslim population, but nonetheless, the group is using religion as a tool for violence in its attempt to gain power. It's ultimate goal is to impose Sharia Law. 

They've killed an estimated 5,000 people between 2009 and 2014. In addition to destroying Christian churches and holy sites, they're also known for kidnapping teenage girls. 

What's more, Boko Haram has forced over half a million people to flee their homes. 

CARD. JOHN ONAIYEKAN
Archbishop of Abuja (Nigeria) 
"How much does a bomb cost? When you think about it not much. How much does a riffle cost? They take most of them from the military. The actions of Boko Haram don't depend on money, but on their convictions.” 

There is a  silver lining amid all the drama. Cardinal Onaiyekan says that the country is working together in solidarity, to rally against the terrorists. 

CARD. JOHN ONAIYEKAN
Archbishop of Abuja (Nigeria) 
"They are terrorists who are armed and they are convinced that their actions are in accordance to the will of their god. This is extremely dangerous.” 

He says, now it's the government's turn to rise to the occasion and do its part to stop Boko Haram. 


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