(Voice of the Persecuted) As Boko Haram presses to regain strongholds, Nigerian Christians are seeking God for deliverance.
“Hopefully this is really the beginning of the end of Boko Haram,” said Nigeria’s Bishop of Maiduguri Diocese, Oliver Dashe Doeme. The Bishop said this about the current situation in Nigeria, where in recent weeks the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, appears to have suffered serious setbacks at the hands of Nigerian, Chadian and Cameroonian military forces. Bishop Doeme was speaking to representatives of “Aid to the Church in Need.”
“Extremists continue to attack because the military have not been able to hit all the strongholds of Boko Haram,” says Bishop Doeme, “and I am not surprised that Boko Haram is still attacking new areas.”
The Bishop, however, speaks of several areas recaptured by the army. He hopes that the newly elected Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari who from 1983 to 1985 held the position of President of the Supreme Military Council, will have more success than his predecessor. “Buhari has solid experience in the military and this will certainly have positive effects in the fight against terrorists. Fighting Boko Haram is one of the priorities of the new government and we hope we can finally put an end to this madness,” the Bishop said.
Following the reconquest of areas once in the hands of Boko Haram, the first refugees and some internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been able to finally return home. Bishop Doeme has been visiting several parishes in his diocese to give comfort to the faithful just returned.
The violence of Boko Haram has seriously affected the Diocese of Maiduguri. The death and destruction at the hands of Boko Haram are too ghastly to contemplate: Thousands of Christians and some Moslems, among them many Catholics, killed by Boko Haram; 350 Catholic churches destroyed; many priests and religious women displaced from their rectories and convents respectively. Also destroyed are three of the four Catholic schools in the diocese.
Despite the terrible suffering, Bishop Doeme invites the faithful not to give in to the desire for revenge. “The crimes committed by Boko Haram are the work of the devil. Only God can free us. He will fight this war and end the violence,” Bishop Doeme said.
Sent to us by Fr.Gideon Obasogie, Communications Director of the Diocese of Maiduguri
Let us storm the heavens with prayers and petitions that Nigerian Christians will be free from the evil that has been and terrorizing them from the past 6 years. They have witnessed so much grief and suffering, it will takes much time to rehabilitate and rebuild their lives. Voice of the Persecuted is working to aid those in the hardest hit areas. They have experienced atrocities beyond our comprehension. Many have become widowed and orphaned directly through persecution and pray for our compassion and help. Please consider partnering with us in making a difference in the lives of persecuted Nigerian Christians, one family at a time. May the Spirit work through us, as the hands and feet of Christ, to answer their cries. May these dear ones glorify Him in return.