“The current security situation in Nigeria is very bad and is getting worse by the day. Lives are lost on a daily basis either because of Boko Haram terrorist attacks, kidnappings, abductions, armed robbery, or banditry. The attacks on places of worship, to be fair, are on both churches and mosques. But in recent times, we see the selective killing and murder of Christians by either Boko Haram or ISWAP [ISIS or Daesh in West African Province].
There is a clear and planned campaign of persecution against Christians in Nigeria, and this is done in many facets of life, especially for the Christians living in the Northern part of Nigeria. The forms of persecution include political exclusion and discrimination in appointment to government positions; denial of land to build places of worship; denial of job opportunities and access to economic opportunities.
The impact of Boko Haram on the Diocese of Maiduguri is enormous. As a diocese, we have suffered both physical destruction and loss of lives. Since the year 2009, as our records show, over 5,000 Catholic faithful have been killed. Nineteen schools have been vandalised and destroyed, four health clinics destroyed and burnt down, and three convents ransacked, destroyed, and burnt down. About 20 rectories have been vandalised and destroyed, 22 parish churches destroyed and burnt, and over 200 outstation churches ransacked and destroyed, in addition to vehicles, motorcycles, and other church equipment. Our people are psychologically traumatised because of their losses.”