State Department Ignores Christian Slaughter

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Although some, including U.S. State Department officials, would paint the post-election violence as purely political, the head of the advocacy group Justice for Jos, attorney Emmanuel Ogebe, refutes this claim. While Muslims and Christians in southern Nigeria get along fine, on this particular occasion there is an intersect between religion and politics when it comes to the Shariah-compliant north. And besides that, Ogebe says that for the Islamists in northern Nigeria, “anything is used as an excuse to kill Christians — beauty pageants, lunar eclipses, school exams, political elections….” These are the sundry reasons in the last dozen years alone that have sparked violent, deadly attacks against Christians. He calls it their “default setting.”

Ogebe reported that strikes on Christians took place simultaneously in rural districts of a dozen Nigerian states (northern). Some initial attacks took place in the middle of the night, when the Christians were least able to defend themselves. And anti-Christian sentiment was inflamed in many of northern Nigeria’s mosques, since in those areas Islamists emerged from mosques with the goal of killing anyone who is an “infidel” whether they voted for the Christian president or not. Victims were made to quote the Quran, not identify for whom they had voted.

Nigerian church leaders agree with Ogebe. In a May 3, 2011 press briefing in Kaduna State, leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) called for a federal investigation into the violence that targeted Christians. “Islamic attacks on churches reflect [the] religious dimension of political conflict,” said Compass Direct News Service.

Compass Direct’s May 3, 2011 story quotes Pastor Emmanuel Nuhu Kure who demanded, “How would you explain a spontaneous call to prayer on most of the loudspeakers of the mosques across the city at the same time, at 9 p.m. or thereabout in the night, with a shout of ‘Allah Akbar’ as Muslims began to troop towards the mosques and designated areas, to be followed at 10 p.m. with another call on loudspeakers – this time with a spontaneous shout of “Allah Akbar” from the mosques and most of the streets occupied by Muslims and the burst of gunfire sound that shook the whole city?” Kure said that these actions were repeated a few times, and then “the killings and burnings began.” And another CAN leader, Bishop Jonas Katung, national vice president of the North Central Zone of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, stated that the post-election attacks “were ‘a descent into barbarism’ in which northern Christians were targeted and subjected to horrendous and relentless acts.”

After performing the obligatory “deploring” of “the violence” in an April 28 press briefing, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Johnnie Carson assured the media that “the president and the main opposition candidates both called on their supporters to not support violent activities and to work to restore peace as quickly as possible.” Yet the media has reported in the past that Buhari told his supporters “never again allow an infidel to rule over you,” and the instigators of violence (possibly including members of the military) are identified as “Buhari boys.” In the May 3 press conference in Kaduna Bishop Katung said, “We refuse to accept the subterfuge of ‘spontaneous combustion.’”

On the other hand, the U.S. State Department is happy to accept the subterfuge of spontaneous combustion. Carson said that the successful democratic process of the Nigerian elections sends “a very strong signal across Africa” and referred to Nigeria as “the second largest Muslim country in Africa after Egypt.” But violence against Christians, committed with impunity and without condemnation from the international community, also sends a strong signal. As does a high-ranking U.S. government official referring to secular, largely Christian, Nigeria, not as the country with the second largest Muslim population in Africa, but as a “Muslim country.”

According to Ogebe, “Such statements demoralize the already traumatized Christian minorities of the North and trivialize the significant Christian majority in the South.” He adds that “it is bad enough to be persecuted at home without a senior U.S. diplomat ‘proselytizing’ the whole nation into Islam by a misguided characterization.”

In typical State Department parlance, Carson encouraged President Jonathan to “act in both a responsible and inclusive manner in the selection of those individuals for his cabinet.” This would “heal the political divisions” which he said “were uncovered [as if they have not been evident for over a decade] during the election process.” But selecting cabinet members in an “inclusive manner” will do nothing to stop the rage of Islamists offended by the idea of an infidel as president. Nor will it protect the Christian community in northern Nigeria from future attacks. Ogebe says the silence of the U.S. on this violence, which is the worst since the country fought a brutal civil war in 1967, could hinder efforts to assess the full extent of the carnage and to seek a solution to decades of recurring persecution.

Pretending the jihad against Nigerian Christians is mere political division and remaining silent about the egregious persecution is about as sensible as pretending the terrorist threat against America is a criminal justice issue, or pretending that justified concerns about the spread of Shariah are Islamophobia that can be squelched by a campaign against hate.

Faith J. H. McDonnell directs The Institute on Religion and Democracy’s Religious Liberty Program and Church Alliance for a New Sudan, and is the author of Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda’s Children (Chosen Books, 2007).


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  • Renee Rogers-Perry

    Nigeria's election was a farce. the incumbent won the election on the first ballot. When the opposition complained about illegal ballots and corruption, they won on the second ballot which had allegations of underage voters and ballot stuffing! But of course the Muslim raiders and slaughterers who killed Christians and raped, pillaged and burned down the Christian churches also killing nuns and priests, was hardly picked up by the media and our president called and congratulated the new Muslim president of Nigeria! Same thing happened when Sec. Of state Clinton husband former president Bill Clinton bombed Serbia and when the muslims took over they burned down almost all of the Christian churches without hardly a whimper from the Leftist media even about their raping their women! I smell a rat!

    • PhillipGaley

      I concur with those who say that, Islam is very much less of a religion and very much more of a criminal mentality.

      To any one of whole mind, surely, the amount of violence and advocacy for violence pouring forth from Moslems—equal to their originator’s writings—the abundance of threats, would challenge credulity.

      To understand that Islam was generated by a man—by a bad man—and for men—bad men—and is maintained to the same end, and that, wherever it goes, necessarily, it must reproduce slums similar to those of long existence in the Middle Eastern nations, no great erudition or powers of logic is required; it is easily explainable: In connection with the increase in violent crime which European nations are sustaining, scholars point out the effect of the Moslem community’s centuries of 1st cousin marriage as producing 3X rate of birth defects and diminished IQ with emotional instability; simply put, very many of them are genetic throwbacks.

      It follows then, that, generally, the Moslems’ personalities are not so much shaped by beliefs and doctrines—as susceptible of individual thought processes and consequent opinions—but their personality development is rather, entwined in mere patterns of behavior—things of common inculcation and acquiescence, even by the so-called moderate whom some suppose to be among them. And partly, no doubt, in this way, many mature Moslems feel it reasonable to teach mayhem to their young—and have so done, time out of mind, and in every place which they come to inhabit.

      And, it also follows then, that—as in those nations wherein they are newly found and ubiquitous—to the same end of physical survival—food and clothing, and so forth—as any other cult, inevitably, Moslems are thus constrained by circumstance to be parasitic to the host society; for, unable to build their own nations, they are predatory upon what good is to be found in any other, and the slums which all of the Middle Eastern nations are, must be reproduced in Europe and elsewhere.

      But what to do? Well, I would marvel to know just when there shall have been sufficient record of anti-social and criminal activity—the world round—to have the nasty thing recognized in law as criminal / terrorist, with assets seized, wiretaps, trials, etc., and with a view to at least freeing many, many women and even more children, . . .

  • waterwillows

    It simply goes to show the great depths of ignorance, stupidity and much evil in the leaders of today who would criminalize speaking out about being murdered, tortured, threatened and lied to. PC is among the number one evils.
    It would also apear that the sham of leadership in the west today has not bothered to find out what the Lord has to say on the matter. And that is the One opinion that counts.
    When the Lord tells us that something or someone is going down; bet your last dollar on it. Because that is exactly what will happen. Islam and its helpers are going down, very badly too.

    • old white guy

      unfortunately there will be alot of blood shed to suppress the islamic jihad.

  • waterwillows

    Well , there will certainly be a huge number of bodies to bury. The Lord says it will take months to get the job done.
    Does that not sound like…….they were just struck down? Why would so many bodies be left lying around?

  • LibertyMan

    A hundred million Christians being persecuted is a low ball figure. Try 1.6 Billion world wide. There is 150 million Christians being persecuted just in China.

    • Faith McDonnell

      You may be right, LibertyMan. But it is better to use a low and still horrific figure than be dismissed as exaggerating. Have to go with what is documented. But I agree it is definitely low. Imagine all the unknown Christians in North Korea, too.

      • LibertyMan

        Faith, thank you for responding. I didn't expect it. I enjoy your work on IRD. Bless you.

    • Delly

      It is sad while some are dieing for their faith; you have others preaching prosperity and that being poor is a curse. I admire those that are dieing for their faith.

  • markcole

    The current administration is not completely ignoring the recent Christian slaughter they are just seeing it through rose-colored glasses:____I got this from the state department briefing on the recent elections in Nigeria, April 28,2011… from a more recent ____QUESTION: Might you be soft-pedaling the violence a little bit? I’m reading some wire material today about perhaps 500 people killed and Christian churches set afire. And also people from the elections say that they’re very discouraged by this and that they prefer to not have an election if this sort of thing happens. Might you be looking through rose-colored glasses at this sort of thing?____ASSISTANT SECRETARY CARSON: Absolutely not. But let me first say we deplore the violence that occurred particularly after the conclusion of the presidential elections a week and a half ago. We saw widespread violence throughout much of northern Nigeria. Both the president and the main opposition candidates – both called on their supporters to not support violent activities and to work to restore peace as quickly as possible…

    • Faith McDonnell

      Dear markcole: Yes, I referred to that press briefing in the article. But I think that "deploring violence yada yada yada" and calling it political division is still the same as ignoring the Christian persecution element of it. Yes, they see it through rose-colored glasses, and those glasses filter out the part of it that is Islamist jihad against Christians. I'd love to know who the journalist was who asked Carson that! I'd buy him/her a Georgetown Cupcake!

  • sydchaden

    Just as FDR and Allied leaders ignored the slaughter of Jews in the pogroms and Holocaust, Obama and western leaders are ignoring the ongoing slaughter of Christians in the Muslim countries. The reason, pandering to the "Muslim World", is obvioius. After the Allied victory in WWII, the UN authorized the formation of Israel as a sanctuary for the world's Jews, and many of the displaced Jews fled to Israel. Perhaps the UN will authorize the formation of a country somewhere as a sanctuary for the world's Christians. If it does not, perhaps Israel can find room in its tiny country for them. Only God is greater than the hypocrisy of our so-called leaders.

  • Wesley69

    Time to speak out against hate. If you discriminate or speak ill of an Muslim, or criticize their religion, you are a Islamophobe. Is there any reason for this???

    The list of new Saints and Martyrs seems to be growing with the rise of Radical Islam.

    In Marsa Matrouh, Egypt, 2010 a mob of 3,000 Muslims attacked the city's Coptic Christian population, with 400 Copts having to barricade themselves in their church while the mob destroyed 18 homes, 23 shops and 16 cars.

    Also in 2000, Muslim mob attempt to force a Copt to pronounce the Islamic faith declaration, then beat him to death when he refuses their demand.

    A 14 year old boy was CRUCIFIED by Radical Extremists near Mosul, Iraq, and a prominent Syriac-Orhtodox priest Paulos Iskandar was kidnapped and BEHEADED in 2006. Only this past November, a Syrian-Catholic Cathedral was assaulted and bombed in Baghdad with many causalities.

    Then there is the civil war in Sudan as the Muslim government imposed Sharia Law upon the Christian south. Roman Catholic bishop Macram Max Gassis, Bishop of El Obeid, reported to the UN Commission on Human Rights, in 1994 on accounts of widespread destruction of churches, forced conversions of Christians to Islam, concentration camps, genocide of the Nuba people, systematic rape of women, enslavement of children, torture of priests and clerics, burning alive of pastors and catechists, crucifixion and mutilation of priests

    These are but a few of the many incidents of Radical Islamic Fundamentalists attacking Christians.

    The West must not bury its head in the sand. They need to stop denying the true nature of the enemy.

    There is a definite contrast between an Islamic martyr and a Christian martyr, just as there is between the Christian creed and the Islamic creed. The heroism, the sacrifice of these martyrs must not be overlooked by the media, but paraded on screens across the planet. You do not combat evil by hiding its atrocities. Only the truth can set these Christians free.

    The voice of the martyrs needs to be heard, as it was in the past, at Constantinople, at Tours, at Vienna. WORLDWIDE JIHAD IS ON THE MARCH. THE CONQUERED WILL BE OFFERRED A CHOICE CONVERT OR LOSE YOUR HEAD.

  • steven l

    Lets be honest. There is some degree of Islamophobia (in the world) but a lot of it is in reaction to the attempts made by " non-pacific Islamic organizations" to overthrow the American Constitution or in the EU to Islamize Europe. Islam by definition is everything but pacific! Shame on EU and the US to refuse this great deal!
    On the other hand these same organization are inciting and promoting tremendous amount of antisemitism everywhere they exist. We all know that the amount of Islamophobia pales in comparison of antisemitism. Furthermore these Islamic organizations deliberately create Islamophobia in order to claim the status of victim.
    Great hoax!
    We do not play this game of Taqiyya.
    This being said, there is a lot to be changed and improved in the US. Let's not kid ours elf.
    But the first 2 ingredients are the freedom of thought and expression, 2 fundamental characteristics of humans that distinguish them from animals as long as they are allowed to use them.

  • john in cheshire

    I agree with most of what has been said above. In my opinion, there is a Holocaust in progress against Christians that is every bit as great as that perpetrated against the Jews during the 20th Century. Who will fight to protect them? Not those who one would naturally expect to come to their defence, by what I can see.

    • Faith McDonnell

      Good point, John. Defense is not coming from democratic governments, nor, for the most part, from churches — even evangelical ones. There is a growing cadre of believers — believers in freedom, democracy, religious freedom coming from the ranks of Christians, Jews, and secular people who understand the truth about Islam. I feel more affinity with them than with co-religionists who are still trying to shut the mouths of those who speak the truth about Shariah and Islamic jihad whether in Nigeria or in the U.S.

  • LindaRivera

    Christians, Hindus, Jews, Sikhs, Budhhists, et al, endure suffering from constant Muslim attack. The dreadful atrocities and barbaric murders of Christians by Muslims in Africa are irrelevant to our heartless government. Western leaders refuse to speak out against the constant horrific attacks by Muslims. Free world hero, Geert Wilders, and other courageous non-Muslims who warn about the dangers of Islam, are persecuted and prosecuted.

    Ruling elites FAVOR Muslims. Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims are despised.

    US government leaders and mainstream media deliberately deceive for Islam. They know Islam is violent and that its followers have been on a 1,400 year mission to conquer the world for Islam. US leaders and the mainstream media are maliciously lulling the public into a false sense of security. Most people don't comprehend how easy it is to lose our freedom.

  • GnosticApostle

    To get america out from obama, we must elect two men, both black. Their names are Cain and West. If you want to stop this kind of hate from muslims and to have someone to put them in thier place, these are the men.
    Spread the word, get em on the ballots. I will gaurantee you that if a white person runs, they will be defeated.

  • 77patriot

    There are a few Christian organizations like Voice of the Martyrs, and Open Doors, that help these Christians that are suffering all over the world. Please pray for them and check out these websites.

  • Amused

    please list those violations

  • Amused

    I dont hear any hue and cry coming fom capitol hill , either side of the aisle .

    • Faith McDonnell

      Actually, amused, there are many heroes in Congress who have cried out and have done a lot — usually having to fight the State Department the whole way. Reps like Frank Wolf, Chris Smith, Trent Franks, Ed Royce, Joe Pitts, Mike Pence, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Sue Myrick, and many others, as well as Senators such as Jim Inhofe, Joe Lieberman, now-Gov. Sam Brownback, former-Sen. Santorum, and others have all been valiant in fighting against religious persecution. (I know I left out many, just showing you that there has been a "hue and cry" for many years.


    I stated things lightly, due to time available, but, Nigeria is no stranger to violence. Muslims and Christians have been killing, torching, and mutilating each other since at least 1963. Last year, thousands of Christians were slaughtered after the elections replaced a Muslim president with a Christian one.

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