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Archbishop warns of war between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria

by Aaron James

Archbishop of Jos Most Rev Benjamin Kwashi (above) is speaking as Islamist extremists such as Boko Haram and Hausa Fulani herdsmen continue injustices on Christians in northern Nigeria, which is predominantly Muslim.

It's thought between them the two groups have murdered thousands of Christians and forced more than a million to leave their homes.

Muslim Fulani herdsmen have often attacked Christians along with their homes and land on the premise of revenge for previous attacks against them and Archbishop Benjamin acknowledged these have happened - though that does not justify vengeance attacks.

Speaking to Christian anti-persecution charity Release International, Archbishop Benjamin also said he could not in good conscience tell believers to stay in northern Nigeria while their lives are in danger, but if Christians do choose to remain there they would have to "trust God more than you've ever done in all your life."

A pastor in Kaduna State campaigning against attacks by Fulani hersdmen

The Archbishop acknowledged the Nigerian government had taken significant strides to defeating Boko Haram, however, it's still failing to protect Christians from Fulani herdsmen attacks - many of the militants are even coming from abroad with weapons.

He also said no state government in northern Nigeria truly cares about Christians, otherwise attacks against them would be prevented.

On the subject of a possible civil war between Christians and Muslims, he said: "They [Christians] have lost people and they're angry. What is keeping them from taking revenge, only God knows. But the day that anger bursts, it can't be controlled.

He said: "Once they [the Nigerian government] allow people to take the justice systems of their own choice and mete it upon their fellow neighbours there will be revenge one day. And I have heard people say 'the Fulani people always take revenge'.

"Now revenge is not only a Fulani thing, it is a human failure of any human being. People will take revenge one day, regardless of who they are."

Listen to Release International's Andrew Boyd speaking to Archbishop Benjamin Kwasi:

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