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Muhammadu Buhari/Twitter
World News

Trump raises Christian persecution in Nigeria with its president

by Cara Bentley

In their private meeting and in front of the press yesterday, Trump briefly raised the issue of the captured school girls in Nigeria and the killings of Christians in the country.

In a press conference in the sunny rose garden outside the White House, President Donald Trump said in front of President Muhammadu Buhari: "We are deeply concerned by religious violence in Nigeria including the burning of churches and the killing and persecution of Christians.

"It's a horrible story and we encourage Nigeria and the Federal State of local leaders to do everything in their power to immediately secure the affected communities and to protect the innocent civilians of all faiths - including Muslims and including Christians."

There has been violence between Christians and Muslim Fulani herdsmen for years, especially in Benue State in Nigeria. Last week, several Christians were attacked during mass at St Ignatius' Church and two priests were killed.

You can hear the interview with Father Moses Iorapu from Benue state about the murders in his diocese here:

In a meeting earlier in the day, President Trump and President Buhari spoke about terrorism and trade and the US President added: "Also, we've had very serious problems with Christians who have been murdered, killed in Nigeria.

We're going to be working on that problem, and working on that problem very, very hard, because we can't allow that to happen"

President Buhari didn't reply to the Christian issue directly but said since the demise of Gadaffi in Libya, trained fighters have moved countries and "carried away with them the only experience they have - trained using weapons." he added that he appreciated America's military support and involvement in fighting ISIS.

Trump later asked: "And how did you do with the young women that were kidnapped? How is that going?"

Buhari replied: "The Dapchi one, there were 106 that were kidnapped. We got 100 back. Four died; one is still held in captivity. "The girl referenced is Leah Sharibu, the Christian girl who has reportedly not been released because she will not renounce her faith

He continued: "And we haven't given up. We are trying to get everybody back to join their families and their schools."

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