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Nigeria: Christians in northern part of the country living ‘under bondage,’ says archbishop

For information about Orthodox Christianity in Nigeria, see here.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Nigeria from ChristianPersecution.com, see here.

“Christians in Northern Nigeria living ‘under bondage,’ says archbishop,” by Ngala Killian Chimtom, Crux, March 13, 2023:

YAOUNDÈ, Cameroon – Christians are living “under bondage” in northern Nigeria, according to Archbishop Matthew Man-oso Ndagoso of Kaduna, located in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, where the predominantly Muslim north meets the predominantly Christian south.

Kaduna State has imposed limited Sharia law in areas with a Muslim majority.

Ndagoso said it is increasingly difficult to build Churches or other Christian infrastructure in northern states like Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, and Zamfara during a March 8 webinar sponsored by Aid to the Church in Need.

“For over 60 years, no single certificate of occupancy has been given officially to any Christian community to build a Church, except in the early 90s when one governor who was a Catholic – a military governor – gave a certificate of occupancy. So, in this part of our country, Christians aren’t free to practice their faith as the Constitution demands, because if I am not free to build a church, if I am not free to get land, you cannot tell me that I am free,” the archbishop said.

“The Christian community in the area has been living under bondage especially in regard to their capacity to practice their faith,” he added.

“Christian children cannot be taught their religion. You won’t even be allowed to employ and pay Christian religious leaders, but in the same schools, the government doesn’t only allow for the teaching of Islam, the government uses public funds to employ teachers to teach the Islamic faith. So, there is a clear case of discrimination designed to dampen the morale of the Christian community,” Ndagoso continued.

“So, the Christian community in this part of the country is under persecution.”

The archbishop said attacks on Christians have resulted in several deaths, and the displacement of communities.

“People are being kidnapped, many people are displaced, and they cannot go back to their communities, we now have to deal with people who have been displaced from their ancestral homes and are now refugees in their own country and within their own state. Kaduna has been at the very center of these killings,” he said….

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