Nigerian massacre of Christians “not rooted in religion”, says EU Commissionner
During a debate on 8. June in the European Parliament, triggered by the massacre of Christians in Nigeria that happened in a Church during a Pentecostal Mass, Commissioner Valdis Dombrovski severely downplayed the attacks by attributing them to "underlying causes beyond faith" such as "scarce resources", and "poor education", "unemployment", among others.
These affirmations ignore that the perpetrators belong to the jihadist terrorist organization Boko Haram. Such statements push the narrative away from the issue of the terrible human rights violations of religious freedom in Nigeria, which has already claimed the lives of thousands of Christians in the last years.
EU Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said that “The frequency and scale of violence in Nigeria is staggering.” And then he continues: “However, as violence in Nigeria is indiscriminate, it targets Christians and Muslims alike, with the aim of creating chaos whenever possible with a view to dividing society.
The root causes of the insecurity that prevails in Nigeria are not predominantly rooted in religion. While some of the violence may indeed be targeted on a religious basis, frequent acts of violence in Nigeria are mainly due to the underlying circumstances beyond faith, such as competition for scarce resources, endemic poverty and inequality, poor education, and access to basic services, youth unemployment, ethnic grievances and a general feeling of exclusion.”
Similar statements that undermine the issue of religious freedom were made by the Irish president, Michael D. Higgins, after the massacre at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Owo on 5th June.