Nigeria : One priest and several faithful killed, four Catholic Churches destroyed in arson attacks

Source: FSSPX News


On February 18, in Maiduguri, the capital of the state of Borno in the North-East of Nigeria, a peaceful demonstration was held in protest at the Danish cartoons, and in which the local government took part. However, according to the Vatican press agency Fides, the demonstration degenerated into attacks on churches and Christian homes. The Cathedral alone was saved thanks to the intervention of a Catholic policeman, who mobilised enough of the police force to stop the protesters from setting fire to it. These serious acts of violence, said Mgr. Matthew Manoso Ndagoso, bishop of Maiduguri, have caused the deaths of at least 15 people, among them Fr. Michael Gajere, a priest ordained 14 years ago, who had only recently arrived in our diocese”.

 Four Catholic churches were destroyed, as well as the bishop’s residence, buildings belonging to other Christian denominations and homes of Christians. “As has happened before recently, religion has been used for political purposes. Those who cause these riots are extremists who do not represent the majority of faithful Muslims, who, on the contrary want to live peacefully. There are also criminal elements which get involved in order to plunder houses and then set fire to them to cover their crimes”, added the agency.

Lateef Adegbite, secretary general of the Supreme Nigerian Council for Islamic Affairs, said: “It is not for Muslims to take the lives of innocent people and allow themselves to destroy property. The Non-Muslims in Nigeria have nothing to do with the publication of these cartoons. We ask the Christians to remain calm and avoid retaliation for this sad affair, and to consider it an ill-advised initiative from Muslims who have acted against the very principles of Islam.”