Nigerian priest fears more persecution after Boko Haram leader’s death
A Nigerian priest is warning that the religious persecution in his home country is a “time bomb waiting to explode," adding that the death of the Boko Haram leader during a battle with the Islamic State could worsen the situation.
Among many attendees at this week’s International Religious Freedom Summit, was Father Joseph Bature Fidelis, who leads the Human Resource and Skill Acquisition Center for Trauma Care for people displaced by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria.
Since speaking with The Christian Post during his visit to Washington in early 2020, he told CP on Thursday that the situation in Nigeria has “become worse.”
“It hasn’t improved significantly,” he said. “From 2020 to date, there have been various attacks on Christian communities, attacks on roads, attacks on soft targets, and many people have died, many have also been abducted.” Fidelis summarised the religious freedom violations taking place in Nigeria are “a time bomb that will explode.”
“Because nowhere have you found such form of persecution in recent times in magnitude, the intensity, the … number of people killed … the brutality involved,” he said.
The United Nations estimates that the Boko Haram insurgency in the Borno state has led to the displacement of over 2 million people in Nigeria. Formed in 2002, Boko Haram split in 2016 after a splinter faction pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The two groups became rivals who’ve wreaked havoc on civilian populations in northeast Nigeria.