Bishop warns of genocide against Christians in Nigeria

Most Rev. William Avenya, Catholic Bishop of Gboko, Benue state has warned of the threat of genocide against Christians in the country’s Middle Belt region. He described an upsurge of violence by militant Fulani herdsmen as “ethnic cleansing”.

Bishop William Avenya of Gboko told Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) of growing fears amid reports that, so far this year, 492 people have died in Benue State, which has a Christian-majority population. In an appeal to the international community, he told ACN: “Don’t wait for the genocide to happen before intervening… Please don’t make the same mistake as was made with the genocide in Rwanda. It happened beneath our noses, but no one stopped it. And we know well how that ended.”

Local reports on Wednesday, 27 June, said extremists “slaughtered more than 200 people” in 10 mainly Christian communities near the city of Jos, although police said there were 86 fatalities.

Who will protect Nigeria’s northern Christians? Every week, there are more massacres, but nobody seems to mind — not even their own government, The Spectator wrote.