LWF and WCC issue joint appeal to Nigerian president
After killing of pastor, concern about surge of extremist violence
(LWI) – In a joint appeal to Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari, the Lutheran World Federation and the World Council of Churches have expressed grief at the continuing violence in Nigeria and urged the Nigerian government to better protect the people.
The letter comes days after Christian pastor Rev Lawan Andimi, a leading person in the Christian Association of Nigeria, was abducted and beheaded by the Boko Haram terror group.
The execution, which is "one of the latest atrocities in a long and painful history of extremist violence in the region and despite the proclaimed defeat of the insurgents, impels us to convey this appeal to you," the letter to the Nigerian president reads. "If the clergy are targeted, ordinary community members are even more at risk.”
What the people of Nigeria need is safety and peace.
“The recent violence in Northern Nigeria is unacceptable,” said LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge. “We believe hatred and violence will never have the last word. We are calling on the government of Nigeria to ensure that hatred and violence are not the first word either. Because violence begets violence and what the people of Nigeria need is safety and peace.”
The letter condemns all senseless killings and attacks that target people – Christians and Muslims alike – based on their religious identity, and asks the president to reform the security system, ensuring that “senior security officials are representative of the diversity of communities in Nigeria and that their actions are effective in protecting all the communities concerned.”