Christian Persecution: Christian Nigeria’s Witness for Jesus in the Face of Boko Haram’s Terrorists

Nigerian Christians are withstanding violent persecution at the hands of Islamic terrorists called Boko Haram. Their witness for Christ humbles me today, as if has for quite a long time. I will never forget the voice of a Nigerian Anglican Bishop’s wife as she told me “Those who persist in following Christ until the end will have eternal life.”

Eternal life in Christ was real to her. It sustained her and gave her not only a peace which passes understanding, but courage which passes understanding, as well.

When people are faced with the horror of repeated terrorist attacks as Christians in Nigeria are, and they respond with prayer and fasting as Christians in Nigeria do, I know that I am witnessing the courage that comes only from the grace of a loving God.

One of the many sins that we need to repent of in this Advent season is our indifference in the face of such magnificent courage and faith in Our Savior by our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world, especially in Nigeria.

The excerpted CNA article below describes one such act of courage among the many in Nigeria today.

Msgr. Obiora F. Ike walks in front of St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Enugu, Nigeria. Credit: Aid to the Church in Need, www.kirche-in-not.ch.

Lagos, Nigeria, Nov 13, 2012 / 12:17 am (CNA).- After his parish in southern Nigeria was desecrated on Nov. 4, Monsignor Obiora F. Ike called on his parishioners to observe a week of prayer and penance.

“Msgr. Ike has called for seven days of prayer, fasting, penance and reparation for the Christian faithfuls and for the conversion of these perpetrators,” according to a statement on his website.

Around 2:00 a.m. on Nov. 4, attackers entered St. Leo the Great parish in Enugu, vandalizing the building and destroying infrastructure and sacred items.

Everything in the church was destroyed: the altar, sacred vessels, musical equipment, seats, the pulpit, statues, religious images, and the entire microphone system.

The destruction included “the Blessed Sacrament that was desecrated,” according to Msgr. Ike’s statement.

By 4:00 a.m. security agents arrived at the parish and assessed the damage. According to Msgr. Ike, the damage done totals around $63,500.

Sunday Mass at the parish was held outside “under the heavy sunshine.” Msgr. Ike’s sermon that day encouraged the congregation to “remain steadfast in their faith despite all the persecution, religious intolerance and fanaticism.” He also urged them to remain dedicated in prayer and forgive the perpetrators.(Read more here.)

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  • Bill S

    I think I have said this before but it’s worth saying again. You can tell the worth of a religion by the behavior of its extremists. The most extreme thing I ever did as a Catholic was to pray the rosary with prisoners and outside an abortion clinic. You can’t be a more religious fanatic Catholic than that. But look what you can do as a Muslim.

  • Bill S

    Rebecca,

    I am commenting on this combox because it will be more private and I don’t want to disrupt your blog any more than I already have. I will check it if you want to respond.

    I want to apologize for creating a new identity which I did in anticipation of you blocking my real name. I think it was meant to be that I would forget to go back to my real name and show my duplicity.

    It’s almost 3 am here and I can’t sleep. Your article about ashes to ashes was spot on. In fact, all your articles are excellent and you have an incredible talent.

    I will continue to read your articles and learn what I can from them. Oh, btw, there is no dark spiritual being. It is just mental illness that appears to be caused by some sort of devil or demon but is psychological. I am collecting a disability for depression that I have had since my mother died when I was 14 but which became debilitating when I lost my faith in 2011. In sorry I sought therapy from you and your readers.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Bill, you are not at war with God, but with your own self. Take these things to Him. He loves you and your son.

      You are welcome to post here, just don’t be so redundant and don’t post quite so much. I will continue to delete your posts if I have to, in order to thin them out. It’s more like pruning a kudzu vine that keeps over growing every other plant than anything else. I am not angry with you. I just want to give other people a chance to talk.

  • Bill S

    I’ve decided to type my responses, read them and delete them. Why am I trying to convert people to atheism when it hasn’t made my life any better? Even if I believe that ignorance is bliss, I should let people believe. I will comment sparingly.

  • Bill S

    Unless it is against your policy, can you send my email address to Dr. Peter John Resweber? He wants to communicate privately.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Sorry, but it is against my policy. I am afraid of some sort of scam that might violate the privacy of my readers. Perhaps you might try googling him and see if you can find his office.

  • Bill S

    I got a phone number but not an email address. I can call and get it.

  • Bill S

    I’m sorry I am commenting so much again. I will again try to catch myself and stop. The topics are just so relevant and, if I hadn’t lost my faith through too much reading and surfing, I would be more positive.

    There is just a nothingness to atheism that I can only overcome by conversing with Catholics. Arguments are better than no communication at all. Like bad attention is better than no attention.

    I am trying to participate in the Catholic faith as much as I can in order to maintain meaning and purpose in my life. I’ve lived with it too long to live without it. I need to develop my own worldview without throwing the baby out with the bath water. It’s like breaking up with someone but continuing to follow her Facebook page.

  • Bill S

    I’m glad that I was able to link up with Dr. Pete on Facebook. Now I can do my therapy somewhere other than Public Catholic. Sorry about my compulsive texting. I’m worse than a teenager.

    I hope/trust that his faith is strong enough to argue with me and not lose and/or lose his faith.


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