Nigerian Archbishop Urges International Effort to End Religious Extremism
Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, Nigeria, spoke at the United Nations March 1 to urge the international community to confront the spread of religious extremism and promote the freedom and rights of all believers, including African Christians killed and persecuted for their faith and communal affiliation.
The archbishop also participated in a panel discussion on religious freedom hosted by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See.
About half of Nigeria’s population is Christian, an estimated 80 million people, and they are dominant in the south and central regions of the country. Islam is the majority religion in the north, and Christians have faced growing violence there since the passage of sharia (Islamic) law in 2002.
At the U.N. and in Nigeria, the archbishop has spoken out against anti-Christian discrimination in government employment and related fields. And last year, he called on the government of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to send more security personnel and equipment to end killings and destruction of property in Plateau, where nomadic herdsman, who are Muslim, have attacked and killed Christian farmers.
Archbishop Kaigama spoke with Register senior editor Joan Frawley Desmond March 3 about the rise of Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist group that has killed an estimated 28,000 people and forced 3.8 million to flee their homes. He outlined his own efforts to advance religious freedom and genuine dialogue between Christians and Muslims.
You can read the interview with Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama here