Deerfield, IL – February 4, 2020
Statement by Bp Efraim Tendero, Secretary General / CEO of the World Evangelical Alliance:
On behalf of our global family of 600 million evangelicals in over 130 countries, the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) expresses its deep sadness and concern about the ongoing violence and the killing of innocent lives in Nigeria on an almost daily basis. We are appalled at the ruthlessness of the kidnappings and attacks, but are also very concerned about the insufficient response by the Nigerian government in both preventing such crimes and holding the perpetrators to account.
Most recently, we received the sad news of the execution of Rev. Lawan Andimi and of 22-year old University student Mr. Ropvil Daciya Dalep by Boko Haram. There was also another attack on a pastor’s house, the church building and the congregation, with more than 30 Christians killed by Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Plateau state. The month of January has proven to be a bloody month as virtually no day passed by without one form of attack or another.
This stark reality becomes even more apparent when comparing the country to the rest of the world: in 2019, Nigeria accounted for some 45% of Christians killed for their faith globally – approximately 1,350 out of 3,000 deaths. This led Open Doors to rank Nigeria at number 12 on its 2020 World Watch List of “50 places around the world where it costs the most to be a Christian.”
We urge President Buhari and the Nigerian government to put an end to these attacks, to decisively combat the prevailing impunity for killings, and to ensure institutional accountability. We also urge President Buhari to strengthen his efforts to liberate the hostages held by Boko Haram and the Islamic State in Nigeria. The release of Leah Sharibu, a Christian school girl held captive for almost two years, and other hostages has long been overdue.
Furthermore, we appeal to the government to ensure that the composition of the leadership of Nigerian security chiefs is more reflective of the ethnic and religious diversity of Nigeria. Such an effort would promote a greater sense of inclusiveness among the population, which in turn contributes to a higher degree of social cohesion.
We call on Christians worldwide to join our Nigerian brothers and sisters in prayer and fasting for an end to the violence, for peace and security to prevail, and for wisdom for the Nigerian authorities as they seek to bring about an end to the suffering of their citizens.
Related: Read a 2019 Statement on Nigeria released by the Religious Liberty Partnership, of which the WEA’s Religious Liberty Commission is a member.
Timothy K. Goropevsek
Chief Communications Officer
Over two billion Christians in the world today are represented by three world church bodies. The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is one of those, serving more than 600 million evangelicals. Launched in 1846 to unite evangelicals worldwide, the WEA continues to be a dynamic movement with 8 regional and 134 national Evangelical Alliances, and over 150 member organizations. WEA’s mission is to establish and strengthen regional and national Evangelical Alliances, who in turn enable their national Church to advance the Good News of Jesus Christ and effect personal and community transformation for the glory of God. For more information, visit Worldea.org.