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Bishop Wilfred Chikpa AnagbeScreenshot/YouTube/EWTN

(LifeSiteNews) — An African bishop has spoken out against the violence perpetrated against Christians by Muslim extremists in his country, saying that the violence has become nothing less than a “jihad.”  

Following yet another attack, Bishop Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe of the diocese of Makurdi in Nigeria told the European Parliament on October 11 that Christians in Nigeria are being subject to a “jihad” by Islamic extremists, and that they need help “before it becomes too late.”  

“The attacks – particularly in Benue State – increasingly look like a jihad against Christians,” he said, saying that these attacks come in many forms, such as “terrorism, kidnappings, killer herdsmen, banditry, [and] other militia groups.” 

Following the October 8 attack which killed nine people in Benue State, Anagbe appealed to the European Parliament for help. He told them that he believes what began as a “conspiracy of silence” around the attacks on Christians has now become open “aiding and abetting” the terrorists.  

“Even though the outside world knows the extent of the ongoing killings and displacement of Christian communities in Nigeria, there exists what I term a conspiracy of silence,” he said. “However, what is happening now is beyond conspiracy. It is rather openly supporting, aiding, and abetting the perpetrators of these acts as no one culprit is ever arrested.” 

The bishop said that the attacks are clearly a religious issue, and stem from an antagonism that Muslims feel towards those of the Christian and faith. 

“Benue is targeted because the majority of its people have steadfastly declared their will not to surrender their Judeo-Christian faith, identity, and cultural values to Islam,” he said.  

The bishop also relayed the extent to which these terrorist attacks have affected Nigeria’s state of Benhue.  

“Figures from the Benue State government again reveal that as of June 2022, Benue State has suffered over 200 attacks with property worth over 500 billion N [Nigerian naira, $1.145 billion US] destroyed and close to 2 million people displaced and living in camps across the State,” he said.  

The bishop said that this year alone, a young girl was stoned and burned on the charge of blasphemy, dozens of people were left dead after an attack on a church on Pentecost, and several priests have been killed or kidnapped. He also said that many children are unable to receive education, since their parents are unable to provide for them, and that there is also the problem of insufficient food.  

“There is the complete loss of human dignity as men, women and children often resort to unsafe coping mechanisms for survival,” he said. 

The bishop said that these incidents have a lasting impact on witnesses, leaving scars which will take time to heal.  

“It is impossible to maintain one’s equilibrium after witnessing the massacre of innocent and defenseless people in the face of harsh economic conditions, notwithstanding our role as God’s ministers. The pain is much, and the wounds not likely to heal any time soon,” he declared. 

The bishop asked that something be done to help the Christians in his country before time runs out.  

“I call on all who listen to me today to come to the aid of the Christian community in Benue and indeed in Nigeria as a whole before it becomes too late.”