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Dismay over attacks on churches in Nigeria

05 November 2014

The recent attacks on the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) – a World Council of Churches member church – and the Kulp Bible College, among other churches in Nigeria, have prompted an expression of profound dismay from the general secretary of the WCC, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.

The attacks in the last week of October in Nigeria are linked to the militant group Boko Haram, according to media reports.

“We want to offer our support and solidarity to the whole people of Nigeria, and its government,” Tveit said in a statement issued on 5 November from the WCC headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“It is vital that the government take immediate and proactive steps to protect all the people of Nigeria and work strategically to defend them against such attacks, as well as supporting practically those who have recently experienced these atrocities,” said Tveit.

In his statement, the WCC general secretary appreciated efforts by the Christian Council of Nigeria in working with other organizations to provide aid to people fleeing the violence. A large number of the local population fled to the Cameroon border in order to escape the violence.

Tveit also drew attention to the plight of more than 200 school girls who were abducted six months ago and are still held captive. “We believe this to be totally unacceptable. We call upon the government to continue to work for their well-being and speedy release,” he said.

Tveit affirmed a statement from the EYN president Dr Samuel Dante Dali, who said, “We need urgent help from the international community if the global community can have compassion on us… The future of Nigeria is getting darker and darker day by day, but Nigerian political leadership do not seem to take the suffering of the people very seriously. The government of Nigeria with all its security seems very weak and helpless in handling the crisis.”

Tveit invited Christians and people of good will to hold Nigerian people in prayers.

Read full text of the WCC general secretary’s statement

News release from the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria

WCC member churches in Nigeria