Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

1/5/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The blood of the martyrs seems to be flowing more frequently these days as militant Islamic terrorism increases and establishes a new beachhead in Africa

We reported on the horrible bombing outside of St Theresa's Catholic Church on Christmas Day. That evil act, perpetrated by a group of Islamic terrorists who proudly refer to themselves as the "Nigerian Taliban," has now been followed by an ultimatum issued to Christians in Northern Nigeria to leave in three days or face further violence.The blood of the martyrs seems to be flowing more frequently these days as militant Islamic terrorism increases and establishes a new beachhead in Africa.

Nigerian catholics outside of St Theresa's catholic Church after the bombing

Nigerian catholics outside of St Theresa's catholic Church after the bombing

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/5/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Nigeria, Jihad, Islam, 'Boko Haram', Catholic, terrorism, persecution,


ABUA,Nigeria (Catholic Online) - We reported on the horrible bombing outside of St Theresa's Catholic Church on Christmas Day. That evil act, perpetrated by a group of Islamic terrorists who proudly refer to themselves as the "Nigerian Taliban," has now been followed by an ultimatum issued to Christians in Northern Nigeria to leave in three days or face further violence.
 
A spokesman for the group called "Boko Haram" named Abul Qaqa told reporters "our Muslim brothers are advised to return to the north, because we have evidence that they will be attacked. We also issue a three-day ultimatum to the southerners living in the north of Nigeria, to leave. We have serious indications to suggest that the soldiers only kill the innocent Muslims in areas where government has declared a state of emergency. We will face them decisively to protect our brothers."

The phrase "Boko Harem" means "Western education is forbidden" in the Hausa language. The terrorists hate all things "western" and Christian. They are Jihadists who have expressed their intention to forcibly esytablish an Islamic Caliphate and impose Shariah Law.

They are also called  al-Sunnah wal Jamma - or "Followers of the Prophet's Teachings". They refer to themselves officially as Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, which means "people committed to the propagation of the prophet's teachings and Jihad". They are murderers and terrorists who use an appeal to religion to attempt to justify evil.
 
After the Christmas bombings, a spokesman claimed responsibility in an interview with a local newspaper called "The Daily Trust" saying "There will never be peace until our demands are met. We want all our brothers who have been incarcerated to be released; we want full implementation of the Sharia system and we want democracy and the constitution to be suspended."

Now, the terrorist group has issued a three-day ultimatum for Christians to leave the North of Nigeria and has called for all Muslims living in the South to move North. They have signaled their intention to fight government troops and to expand their violent attacks against Christians and others who resist their Jihad.

Vatican Radio reports that Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, the Vice President of the Nigerian Bishop's Conferencehas urged Nigerians to not to allow their country to be overtaken by terror: "Churches have been destroyed and lives were lost and there is no sign that this might end, until the government intervenes decisively.

"We continue to ask Christians to be vigilant and aware of the issue of safety when they go to church and even in their own homes. We have appealed that there be no retaliation and we continue to preach peace, hoping that all of us in Nigeria, Muslims and Christians, we will be able to work and live happily together. This is our position: no violence, no retaliation. We want to live in peace".

Archbishop Kaigama added, "We continue to appeal to reason, for dialogue. It is possible for Muslims and Christians to reason together. We know that there are other forces behind the so-called Boko Haram.

"We do not even know who the Boko Haram really are, what they want, where they get their arms from. What is certain is that there are some forces behind them, either in Nigeria or abroad, who want to profit from instability in our country, but we will not give in to terrorism, we will not allow these fundamentalists to ruin our country".

On the Feast of St Stephen the Deacon and Proto - Martyr, the day after Christmas, a burdened Pope Benedict XVI spoke to the faithful who had gathered for the Angelus prayer. He spoke from his heart, urging prayers for those whose, "lands are drenched in innocent blood."

The Pope reminded the faithful that St Stephen gave his life for his Christian faith. He spoke of his heroic witness, noting that even as he was being stoned to death he prayed "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" and begged forgiveness for his accusers. He extolled the witness of the early martyrs of the Church, a topic which he has frequently addressed in the last few years.

Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office said in a statement, "Regretfully the attacks at the Church of Saint Theresa in Abuja, timed to coincide with Christmas Day celebrations, are once again the expression of the cruelty of blind and absurd hatred devoid of any respect for human life and represent an attempt to generate and fuel further hatred and confusion,"

"We express our closeness to the suffering of the Church and of all the Nigerian people who have been affected by violent terrorism even during these days that should be of joy and peace," he added. "While we pray for the victims, we also express the hope that this senseless violence will not weaken the will for peaceful cohabitation and dialogue in the nation."

The word "Martyr" derives from a Greek word which means "witness." The Catholic faith proclaims that the shedding of one's blood in fidelity to Jesus Christ is the final witness to the Faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that:

"Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith: it means bearing witness even unto death. The martyr bears witness to Christ who died and rose, to whom he is united by charity. He bears witness to the truth of the faith and of Christian doctrine. He endures death through an act of fortitude" (CCC #2471 - 2473)

That is what is happening to our brethren in Nigeria - Christian martyrdom at the hands of militant Jihadist Islamists. They are being killed by evil men precisely because they are Christians. The blood of the martyrs seems to be flowing more frequently these days as militant Islamic terrorism increases and establishes a new beachhead in Africa.

Those words attributed to Tertullian in the Second Century of the Church still hold out their promise: "The blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the Church". We are living in a new missionary age. Pray for our brethren in Africa.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Africa

EBOLA BREAKTHROUGH: New drug 'Zmapp Watch

Image of The experimental drug ZMapp has shown remarkable success in treating those stricken with the Ebola virus.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the midst of widespread horror, hope: A treatment for the deadly Ebola virus may have finally been found. Scientists are reporting a 100 percent cure rate for monkeys afflicted with Ebola using the experimental drug Zmapp. Currently being used to treat ... continue reading


Senegal becomes fifth African nation to be ravaged by Ebola Watch

Image of Senegal has since banned flights to and from three of the affected countries and shut its land border with Guinea.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Senegal became the fifth West African nation hit by the world's worst Ebola outbreak. That nation's first Ebola patient was a visiting student from the neighboring country of Guinea, where riots have been reported.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A ... continue reading


Ebola outbreak 'continues to accelerate' in West Africa; 1,552 people killed Watch

Image of Ebola's most deadly outbreak to date so far has been centered in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, with a handful of cases in Nigeria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ebola in West Africa has killed 1,552 people, with no end in sight. According to the World Health Organization, the outbreak "continues to accelerate" with a total number of cases at 3,069, with 40 percent occurring in the past three weeks. It must be noted ... continue reading


Is the current Ebola strain mutating twice as fast as previous strains? Watch

Image of The World Health Organization has claimed that the current Ebola outbreak could affect as many as 20,000 people if it is not stopped.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Studies done on some of the early Ebola cases in Sierra Leone reveal the frightening fact that the virus had over 300 genetic mutations as it went from person to person. Even more frighteningly, these changes may make diagnostic tests and experimental treatments ... continue reading


Quarantined Ebola villages deal with old killer, starvation Watch

Image of Food prices in Liberia are

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the horror of Ebola spreads throughout much of West Africa, a longtime and even more insidious killer is now stalking the land: starvation. Villages that have been quarantined on account of the killer virus have been cut off from receiving food and water. If ... continue reading


With a second Ebola outbreak in the Congo, how will African health officials stop the rising death toll? Watch

Image of Aid workers in Sierra Leone distribute food to patients infected with Ebola.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on August 26 that it had shut down a laboratory in Sierra Leone after a health worker became infected with Ebola, a move that some believe will hamper efforts to boost the global response to the worst outbreak of the ... continue reading


The Ebola outbreak beats all attempts at isolation as new cases appear in the Congo Watch

Image of Aid workers in the Congo, which is now the fifth African nation to suffer from the current Ebola outbreak, which began in early 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent protective equipment to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for use by medical staff treating patients infected with Ebola. Making the Congo the fifth African country to suffer from the deadly Ebola outbreak which ... continue reading


DRASTIC MEASURES: Ivory Coast closes borders with Guinea, Liberia due to Ebola outbreak Watch

Image of To date, the Ebola outbreak is limited to four West African nations -- Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. Nearly 2,500 suspected cases have been reported in what the World Health Organization says is the worst known outbreak of the disease.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As a sign of the escalation of the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, the nation of Ivory Coast has sealed off its borders with Guinea and Liberia. Ivory Coast Prime Minister Daniel Duncan formally signed the order that closes the land borders his nation shares ... continue reading


Flood of Syrian refugees into Algeria continues Watch

Image of  Syrians have come to rely on the compassion and warmth of the Algerian people - whose hospitality may have reached their limits.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Syrian refugees have continued their flood into the nearby nation of Algeria. Now facing even worse persecution at the hands of the Islamic State, Syrians have come to rely on the compassion and warmth of the Algerian people - whose hospitality may have reached ... continue reading


Medical help short-handed in raging Ebola outbreak Watch

Image of More money and resources are desperately needed to improve local health systems.

By Alex Whiting, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Hospitals battling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa desperately need more staff, as local doctors leave their posts and foreign doctors are reluctant to come forward, medical experts said during an online debate on the disease. LONDON (Thomson Reuters ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:1-5
1 Now when I came to you, brothers, I did not come ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102
97 How I love your Law! I ponder it all day ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-30
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 1st, 2014 Image

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter