Conversion of Christian Girls To Islam War Against Christianity – CAN
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday reacted to the alleged conversion of Christian girls to Islam by the Boko Haram sect, saying that the alleged conversion was a declaration of war against Christianity.
The CAN president, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, who made the warning while reacting over the new video released by Boko Haram, said the girls cannot be converted to a religion that is not theirs at gunpoint without their conviction.
Oritsejafor who spoke through the national director of research of CAN, Elder Sunday Oibe, during a press conference in Kaduna said “all the children displayed are Christians, and that is the motive behind the abduction”.
“It is simple, because they are Christians and they represent the Church in the eyes of their abductors. Secondly, it smirks of some form of religious persecution; if not, why are their captors converting them to another religion? And if they say they will use them as a condition to negotiate their men in detention, our daughters are not criminals and cannot be used in any way to free their criminal fighters.
Meanwhile, Catholic bishop of Sokoto Diocese Matthew Kukah has said the abduction of the schoolgirls in Chibok by the Boko Haram sect is a call for Nigeria to repent as a nation.
Speaking at the Rosary Procession and Adoration at the Holy Family Cathedral, Sokoto, to mark the #BringBackOurGirls prayer, Kukah assured that when the schoolgirls are eventually found, they will be apostles of peace.
He, however, wondered whether those who govern Nigeria would appreciate that there is a country to build, even as he urged politicians to understand that they have a future to nurture and that government “is so serious it should never be left in the hands of politicians”.
“Chibok calls us to repentance as a nation because we have squandered far too much as a people and a nation,” he noted.
Kukah thanked countries like the United States of America, Britain, France and Israel whose security experts have chosen to put their own lives at risk to save the schoolchildren, saying “wherever they are, may God bless and protect them all”.
“We thank God for their families. We are grateful to God that, once again, a tragedy such as this has pulled together the beautiful threads of our differences to help us weave a tapestry of unity and love. How can we thank those who have loaned us their voices, from the First Lady of the United States of America, Mrs Michelle Obama, our little Ms Malala in Pakistan, to David Cameron and a host of others around the world? We have taken notice of your love and you will remain in our hearts,” he stated.
Expressing regret over the abduction of the schoolgirls, the bishop said, “Suddenly, our name is Chibok, not Nigeria. We are Chibokians, not Nigerians. The world seems to have stood still for a long moment. No single event has held our country together and elicited attention and sympathy the way this tragic incident has done. Indeed, the Chinese were right: behind every tragedy lurks an opportunity. Nigeria has an opportunity to think and dream again because the world is watching. I hope so.
“It is not so much that this has happened, and that we are all united. The question now is, how long shall our eyes remain on the road? How soon will those in power remain awake or will they soon begin to sleep on the steering, return to the inertia induced by a sybaritic lifestyle that dulls the imagination and stifles our consciences? Sadly, we have a severely limited attention span.”
Noting that the prayer session for the abducted girls was not a protest, he said: “We gather here not to protest, but to affirm the faithfulness of God. We gather not in bitterness, hurt or self-pity. No, that would be the fate of unbelievers and those who have no faith. We gather in faith and trust, believing that the one who sees all that is done in secret will reward our long waiting (Mt 6:4).”
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