By ACNS staff
Members of the Anglican Communion all around the world are being called to pray, fast and act in support of their brothers and sister in Nigeria facing violence and death.
The Most Revd Ikechi Nwachukwu Nwosu, The Ven Dr Abraham Okorie and Mr Abraham Yisa, the Church of Nigeria’s ACC members, were responding to a similar appeal to Nigerian Anglicans by their Primate the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh.
“We have one week of prayer and fasting from the 12th November for the terrible security situation in Nigeria,” explained Abp Nwosu, adding he wanted Anglicans across the Communion to join them.
Just last week at least seven people were killed and dozens injured in a suicide bombing during Mass at a Catholic church in Kaduna, northern Nigeria. An explosive-laden vehicle drove into the church and detonated its load, ripping a hole in the wall and roof.
Mr Yisa said that this was not a one off: “Churches are being bombed every Sunday, especially in the northern part [of the country]. The situation is that people are refusing to go to church,” he said, “or when they go to church they don’t know whether they’ll return home. Services during the week are disrupted, people are afraid to worship.
“This should not just be a matter of concern for the church in Nigeria, but for the whole Anglican Communion. The Church in Nigeria has 20 million Anglicans and is something is affecting a sizeable chunk of that church then it is affecting the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Mr Yisa, who along with Abp Nwosu and The Ven Okorie, had just finished Bible study in the nave of Auckland’s Holy Trinity Cathedral, said: “Imagine you’re doing this Bible study and somebody comes in and starts to spray worshippers [with bullets]...”
Abp Nwosu, Bishop of Umuahia Diocese, said he believed that those who were behind the violence were being funded by parties outside Nigeria, and said he appealed to Anglicans around the world to also lobby their governments to intervene in this situation.
For more information the media should contact Mr Jan Butter on +64 (0)2102991797 (international media) or the Revd Jayson Rhodes 021661319 (New Zealand media)
Notes to Editors