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German bishops: “instrument” for Christians North of Nigeria presented. Msgr. Schick (Bamberg), “Terror group Boko Haram has killed 20 thousand people since 2009”

“Regular attacks, kidnappings and brutal violence in the region by Islamist group Boko Haram, killing about 20 thousand people since 2009. Moreover, Muslim nomads have been competing with (mostly Catholic) peasants with regard to fertile land”. Archbishop of Bamberg Msgr. Ludwig Schick noticed that during his journey to Nigeria in April; and this morning he spoke about that with journalists while presenting the “instrument” of the German Bishops’ Conference on the situation of Christians North of Nigeria, which is part of the initiative “Solidarity with the persecuted and oppressed Christians of our time”. Since 2003, that initiative has been carried out by the German church abroad. “Religion plays a role in contrasts, of course, because religion is an essential part of human identity”, pointed out the Archbishop, President of the Universal Church Commission. Religion “may broaden people’s perspectives, establishing solidarity”, but it may also “include existing conflicts”. Therefore, in Nigeria, it is vital “to put an end to economic and political imbalances among groups, fighting widespread corruption, and establishing a functioning administration”. In all that, interreligious dialogue “is not a matter of will, it is a matter of necessity”. The booklet (available at illustrates the history of religions in Nigeria, as well as the reasons for the conflict. It examines the background of persisting violence, and gives voice to local witnesses.

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