News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

World News

Bishop of Truro says 'world is choosing to look the other way' while thousands of Christians are massacred in Nigeria

by Donna Birrell

The Bishop of Truro says the world is turning a blind eye to violence in Nigeria which has seen thousands of Christians killed in the last seven months. 

Human Rights Without Frontiers says more than 3,400 Christians have been massacred by Jihadists since January.

Speaking to Premier, the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen says it's vital for the UK government to accept that much of the violence is religiously motivated and he's urging people to speak out about the situation:

"I'm just horrified at what's going on in different parts of Nigeria. These are very distressing stories. And I think a particular aspect of it that is very concerning is the apparent inability or ineffectiveness of the Nigerian security services to do anything to address this problem and to protect its citizens and to bring the perpetrators to justice. 

"It's an appalling situation. And it's unfolding, even as we speak."

Bishop Philip chairs the UK Freedom of Religion and Belief Forum, which is a coalition of charities and NGOs from across the world. It also has representatives from the All-Party Parliamentary Group and the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion and Belief, Fiona Bruce MP.

The group is working out exactly what is happening on the ground in Nigeria.

"But my consistent appeal to the government on this issue has been to say, you must take the religious dimension of this violence seriously.

"The standard line has been that this is an age-old conflict between different communities who have different lifestyles - settled farmers and nomadic herdsmen. And that's been exacerbated by climate change, because there's a shortage of supply of fodder and grazing. I don't doubt that that is part of what's going on. But this is religiously fuelled and religiously motivated as well.

"I think the government needs to recognise that in order to support the Nigerian government to address this issue, which is at least in part, a religious issue. So it needs the faith leaders to be sitting down together and working out solutions and bringing pressure to bear. It needs a co-ordinated approach that takes the religious dimension of this conflict seriously."

"It's what I pray will happen. There are a lot of voices in Parliament and in the public square who are calling for the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office to take that issue increasingly seriously, and I think those voices are just going to become more insistent and louder, the higher the death toll rises."

Asked by Premier whether the world has turned a blind eye to increasing violence against Christians, Bishop Philip said:

"I think that's absolutely right. Even the very fact that we can say, gosh, you know, look, it's worse than it was last year, as if somehow last year was acceptable. This is terrible. This is a massacre that's unfolding. 

"I think the world is choosing to look the other way. And it's appalling. I remain shocked by the scale, the scope and severity of what's going on in this world today. And we need to be active, we need to be speaking up, we need to be lobbying our politicians and asking them to address these really serious issues in the world today. 

"It's about loving our neighbours, doing our best for those who are vulnerable and in need. 

"But there's some seriously evil forces at work in the world today that are destabilising, that are dangerous and we need to face up to them and not ignore them."

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email