Saturday, January 17, 2015

2,484 killed in Nigeria. Who cares?

When 17 people were killed by Islamic terrorists in France, the leaders of something like 40 nations - with the notable exception of President Obama of the USA - gathered in Paris to protest Islamic terrorism.

Last year 2,484 were killed in Nigeria as a result of Islamic extremism, the highest total of any nation in the world. This year hundreds more have been killed already. Men, women and children, hunted down, shot, drowned or burned alive. Who cares about them?

Among politicians, a few individuals have expressed concern. Douglas Alexander, shadow foreign secretary - his father was a Church of Scotland minister - has expressed concern. He promised that a Labour Government would appoint a global ambassador for religious freedom to tackle the persecution of Christians worldwide.

But it seems that for the majority of politicians, Islamic extremists in Africa can do what they like. Words, perhaps. But actions?

Lisa Pearce, CEO of Open Doors in the UK and Ireland, says: "Responding to a question from MPs about whether in light of increasing persecution now was the time to appoint an ambassador for religious freedom to campaign for religious freedom internationally, the UK Deputy Prime Minister has just responded confirming that, 'while it is necessary to keep an open mind' about whether more should be done to protect Christians, the UK Government would not be making the appointment.

"Of course that appointment wouldn't have changed the world on its own, but it would have been a step.

"Meanwhile the church is experiencing persecution on an unprecedented scale. Time is running out. Surely we need to move beyond 'keeping an open mind' and do something?"

There are things that can be done. For instance, the UK pays £249 million in foreign aid to Nigeria each year.

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