“For four years, since I became a priest in 2016, I have been burying my parishioners,” – Fr Ebute.
Are we in a war? Yes. But what would Christ have us do? The only way He has pointed out to us is the non-violent way. It is the road less travelled, but it is the only way, said Bishop Matthew Kukah.
Abductions in the state have become “a big business” though some kidnappings are for religious reasons, – Rev John Joseph Hayab.
“Western nations are not doing enough. They have shown that the resources of Africa are more important than the ordinary people," Bishop Kukah.
Preliminary data states that over 1000 Christians have been killed since January.
“Our brothers and sisters in Nigeria have been facing an ongoing onslaught from extremists wanting to eradicate the Christian Faith.”
The response to Pope Francis’ Extraordinary Missionary Month has been hugely successful in the Catholic Church across the world - The Irish News.
International reports on religious freedom confirm time and again that Christians are the most persecuted group, says ACN.
Over the decade from 2007 to 2017, government restrictions on religion – laws, policies and actions by state officials that restrict religious beliefs and practices – increased markedly around the world, says report.
“Widespread evidence shows that today, Christians constitute the most widely persecuted religion.”
Meeting between Pontiff and the husband and daughter of Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy, as well as Nigerian Rebecca Bitrus, who escaped from Boko Haram after two years in captivity.
"We are happy; to God be the glory", said Sister Agatha Osarekhoe, Superior General of the Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Christ, announcing the release of the sisters.
Sr Kathleen McGarvey helped set up WIC in 2010 to enable Muslim and Christian women tackle issues of common concern such as health, literacy, unemployment and violence – both domestic and interreligious.
“We talk a lot about the challenges of family life but those of you who are here today are here because you know that overall the family brings a fulfilment into your lives that is quite unique.”
“The gunmen came thinking that their target was in the church but he was not.”
The Nigerian government announced the release of the young women who were among 300 abducted from the high school in Chibok in April 2014. Ever since then a high profile campaign has been under way under the title ‘Bring Back Our Girls’.
“Christian responses to persecution are almost always nonviolent and, with very few exceptions, do not involve acts of terrorism,” states recent report.
“Migrants are our brothers and sisters in search of a better life, far away from poverty, hunger and exploitation, much like our forefathers at the time of the famine."
Sr Anne Falola OLA reports on the efforts of the newly opened Maria Centre in the Nigerian capital Abuja to support those displaced by Boko Haram’s violence.
In several areas the Christian presence has become virtually extinct; elsewhere congregations have grown due to an influx of Christians fleeing violence.
“At this very moment, bombs are raining down on the residential neighbourhoods of the city. There may be as many as 60 dead and 300 wounded."
Charity provided eight schools in Dohuk and Erbil in Kurdish northern Iraq to where 120,000 Christians fled last summer after attacks by so-called Islamic State.
Delight in Co Mayo as missionary Fr Billy Sheridan SMA, who was kidnapped north-west Nigeria, released unhurt.
The Nigerian army has found graves containing hundreds of decomposing bodies including those of women and children in Damasak, Borno State.
“Not only have the girls not been released but nothing is known about their fate" - Mgr Kaigama.
“I cannot celebrate the light of Christ without thinking of those students in Kenya singled out to be killed precisely because of their Christian identity" - Archbishop Martin.
Up to 90% of the area occupied by Boko Haram has been freed in recent weeks by the Nigerian army.
Aid to the Church in Need has highlighted fears of a Muslim-Christian conflict during the election period.
Western military intervention is the only viable option in the fight against Nigerian militants, who are now allied to Islamic State.
Amnesty International warns that Boko Haram has deliberately targeted civilians through raids and bomb attacks, both of which have been increasing in frequency and severity.