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NIGERIA/ Father Longs: the fundamentalists will not kill our faith

Father ALEXANDER LONGS, priest in Jos, Nigeria, comments on the life of Christians after they continue to be killed in churches and during Mass by Islamic fundamentalists.

(Fotolia) (Fotolia)

They kill in the most cowardly way possible. They wait until their helpless targets are together under one roof in prayer, thus, when they are most helpless. This is how, in Nigeria, fundamentalism is massacring Christians. It happened in Jos, the capital of the central region, and in Biu, in the region of Borno. In the first case, a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of a church, and in the second, the militants opened fire on worshipers who were in Mass, killing at least five people. Currently, there has been no justice but, as always, the Boko Haram is suspected. They despise the life of others, and live their Islamic faith according to its most extreme interpretations, and act, basically, without a real reason.

Father Alexander Longs, prior of the monastery of the White Fathers of Jos, told ilSussidiario.net how the Christian community is living through this tragic time. He begins by explaining what happened. “As always, for the moment, the confusion is such that it is still too early to tell what actually happened. What is certain is that, once again, the terrorists attacked us. While the Mass was being celebrated, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the Winning All Evangelical Church”. Also like always, the next step is the sad ritual of counting the dead. “For now, we only know that there are many dead. From an initial count I am afraid they are not less than ten”.

There is a question that the international community is asking, and that the Christians in Nigeria ask even more insistently and dramatically: “Why? Why did they attack us? We have not done anything. We do not understand the meaning of all this. We know that they are fundamentalists, and that, in any case, their actions are not reasonable. The fact remains that we are unable to understand what is happening. This is a real persecution, though without a real reason, not even one, for appearances”. The prior does not hide the feelings of his people. “We are afraid. We often do not sleep at night. Someone is always watching so that the others are not attacked and killed in their sleep”. When episodes like this happen, life will inevitably change. “We try to do what we do every day; however, the days immediately following the attacks are those in which the risk of new attacks is highest. Our people, therefore, for one, two, even three days, try to stay locked in their houses, and to reduce their activities to a minimum. Because you do not know, if you were to go out, what could happen”. Potentially, every person you meet on the streets of Nigeria could be a terrorist.