Bishop on the Front Lines Describes Muslim Agenda 'to Islamize Nigeria, Oppress Us, Intimidate Us'
In a private church meeting last week, a Christian bishop from Nigeria reported on his struggle at the front lines of radical Islamic terrorism. A boy soldier in his youth, the bishop preached the gospel for many years in the country's violent north, where the Islamic State (ISIS)-linked terrorist group Boko Haram holds sway. Even in his home in the country's rural east he faces threats from radical Islam.
"Islam in Nigeria is the most serious problem we have today," the bishop said. "The problem is systematic."
In May, 19 people — including two priests — were murdered at a Catholic Church, inspiring mass protests and claims that Muslims are carrying out an "ethnic cleansing" and a "Christian genocide." Over 13,000 churches in Nigeria's northeast have been destroyed by Boko Haram, Anglican Mainstream reported. As of 2016, Boko Haram had killed over 20,000 people and displaced 2.2 million, according to the UN. The terror group kidnapped hundreds of girls in 2014 and earlier this year, sparking international outrage.
Boko Haram is also not the only radical Islamic terror group in the region. Jama’atu Ahlis-Sunna Lidda’Awati Wal-Jihad (People Committed to the Prophet’s Teachings for Propagation and Jihad) has focused attacks on Christians, as have Islamist Fulani cattle herdsmen who have destroyed hundreds of villages and killed thousands since 2014.
While he faces radical Islam in Nigeria, the bishop warned about the worldwide threat. "The Muslim agenda is a global agenda. I feel so disappointed that when things like this are happening, we have infighting among Christians." Due in part to this infighting, he warned that Muslims "are almost overtaking U.K., France, the Netherlands."
"The agenda in Nigeria is how to Islamize Nigeria, how to oppress us, how to intimidate us," he said.
The bishop lamented that Christianity is fractured and distracted in the face of this threat. "The Christians in Nigeria, due to our denominational differences, do not speak in one voice. Ninety-nine percent of them are after money, after prosperity," he said. "Many don't know what it means to be a Christian."
The bishop, who spent years in the north and east but has traveled extensively throughout Nigeria, described terrorists like Boko Haram as rather impactful "against minority Christians in the north, but they are driving east and southward as well."
Even though ISIS is on the run in the Middle East, radical Islam is a threat throughout Nigeria and in many other parts of the world.