Christmas Day carnage in Nigeria highlights persecution of Christians
The appalling church blast in Abuja was aimed at terrorising peaceful worshippers everywhere. It’s time the West took a stand
As the first reports started to come through of the bomb blast in a Catholic church near Nigeria’s capital Abuja it was immediately clear that something dreadful had happened.
Before anyone was making estimates of the number of casualties, it was already being ominously reported that the emergency services had run out of ambulances.
Who could do such a thing at a packed service to mark one of Christianity’s holiest days?
BBC World Service was practically performing summersaults to avoid using the ‘I’ word. But on their website even they had to acknowledge, though still somewhat obliquely, that the perpetrators were almost certainly going to be Islamists:
“Security has been high after violence between Islamist gunmen and soldiers in northern Nigeria,” as Britain’s impeccably politically correct state broadcaster put it.
Tragically, the persecution of Christians in countries with substantial Muslim populations is becoming more and more commonplace.
We saw it earlier this year with the slaughter of Copts in Egypt. Across much of the Muslim world it is an increasing problem.
What worries us is the paucity of the response from Western governments, and even churches. If Christians were blowing up Mosques at Ramadan, there would (rightly) be a global outcry.
Every atrocity perpetrated against Christians in the name of Islam, by contrast, seems all too quickly to be brushed under the carpet.
We believe this has to stop. It is time that all decent men and women of whatever faith or denomination stood up for the rights of Christians wherever they may be.
On Christmas Day we are surely entitled to ask: if not now, when?
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