A gunman attacked worshippers at the St Francis Catholic Church in the Nigerian town of Owo during a mass on Pentecost Sunday. In the attack, around fifty people were killed, including children. The presence of armed religious extremist in Nigeria is a growing threat to Christians. This latest attack cannot be explained solely by the conflict between the farmers and the nomadic herders; it must be declared that this attack on one of the most important Christian feasts was directed against Christian believers, said MEP György Hölvényi.
The Christian Democrat MEP said that the identity of the perpetrator is not yet known, but similar attacks have been carried out against Christian communities for years now. Between 2015 and 2020, around 12,000 Christians were killed for their faith. Although the Nigerian central government has pledged to curb the terror, we are not seeing any real results yet. The MEP underlined, “The current attack has taken place in South West Nigeria which was so far not affected by the violence. This is a cause for concern and a sign of the deteriorating security situation”.
The politician added, “The lack of presence of the government in Nigeria has led to a series of brutal attacks causing that Nigeria is ranked ad 7th place on the Open Door’s Word Watch List on Christian persecution.
MEP György Hölvényi stressed that the European Parliament and the EU cannot remain idle in this situation and cannot decide on ideological grounds to turn its face away from the victims. Every MEP must work within his or her own political group to ensure that the EP, which so often invokes human rights, is able to recognise and condemn the obvious and violent persecution of Christians. The EU must send a clear signal! This is our moral duty as European politicians.