BELGIUM: Protect Christians in Nigeria from Persecution, EU Bishops’ Conference Urges

BRUSSELS, MAY 29, 2020 (CISA)-The Commission of the Bishop’s Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) has called for international measures to protect Christians in Nigeria from growing Islamist and tribal attacks.

The May 19 plea directed to the European Union, it’s Member States and the international community suggested increased efforts to stop the violence in the country including bringing perpetrators to justice, supporting victims of violence and promoting dialogue and peace.

“We call for diplomatic, political and financial instruments to assist the Nigerian authorities in halting the violence, bringing the criminals to justice and supporting the victims,” the statement posted on the COMECE website reads.

According to the commission, about 6000 Nigerian Christians have been killed since 2015 by mostly, Boko Haram and militant Fulani pastoralists, who have committed terrorist attacks against Christian farmers.

The conference noted that the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has previously condemned the Federal Government for failing to protect the lives of citizens.

COMECE added that the Nigerian Bishops clearly expressed that the ongoing violence, in reference to the Fulani herdsmen, “can no longer be treated as mere clash between pastoralists and farmers”

The commission has been monitoring the situation in Nigeria, which comprised the public debate in preparation for the European Parliament January 2020 resolution. They also exchanged on the topic with international experts during a workshop organized in Naples, USA.

“The European Parliament denounced the situation in its recent resolution of 16 January 2020 on Nigeria, deploring the recent terrorist attacks carried out by jihadist groups and the ‘your land or your blood’ policy carried out by Fulani militants,” COMECE said condemning the constant discrimination suffered by Christians in Nigeria.

“In a 2019 Report, the Public Prosecutor Office of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has found reasonable the allegation that since 2009 members of Boko Haram would have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity,” it reads.

COMECE is made up of Bishops delegated by the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of the 27 Member States of the European Union.