(LifeSiteNews) — A Nigerian bishop has raised his voice lamenting and condemning the Islamic persecution of Catholics sweeping the country that “has become a daily occurrence.”
Bishop Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe of the Diocese of Makurdi, Nigeria spoke to Catholic News Agency about the ongoing and escalating violence against Nigerian Christians at the hands of militant Fulani herdsmen in his Benue State region, which he said was a “full-blown realization of the Islamic agenda.”
Referring to a Good Friday attack in April that left 43 dead and more than 40 injured when gunmen raided a school building serving as a shelter for displaced Christian farmers and their families, Anagbe said, “If you see the video, you would just weep. They came and they slaughtered all of them.”
However, the bishop explained, little to no action has been taken on the part of the government, which is predominantly Muslim, to curb or address the violence. “And [with] all this happening, there have been no arrests. The government is not prepared to take action about this … Nigeria is not like the U.S. where you have state police. If anything happens in Benue State … you need a call from the headquarters [in the capital] to let the police look into it. So, if they have not been given any instruction they will not go.”
Lamenting the inaction of the authorities, he said, “So, in this situation, we have been caged, we have nothing to do.”
According to the bishop, Benue State has a population of about 6 million, of which “99% [are] Christian.” Stressing the significance of the demographics, Angbe affirmed, “I tell you, there is no Fulani man who is indigenous to Benue State, so they are coming as invaders or aggressors.”
The final report of the Nigerian Atrocities Documentation Project (NADP), tracking the persecution of Christians in Nigeria quarterly from January 2022 to February 2023, stated that “Christian indigenous farmers in Northcentral Nigeria find it difficult to carry out agricultural activities because Fulani herdsmen attacks are driven by an ideological thrust of universal ownership of lands across the Sahel Region, as opposed to state ownership and legislations such as the anti-open grazing law in states like Benue. To this effect, many Christians (in states like Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa) have been displaced from their ancestral homes and are living in IDP camps and neighboring host communities.”
“Fulani herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in the Northcentral persist due to the lack of functional migratory laws, increased armed acquisition by herdsmen, and the lack of security presence especially in rural communities, and as a reaction to the ban on anti-grazing laws in some states like Benue. Tagging these attacks as a conflict between Fulani herders and indigenous farmers is but concealing the true religious dimensions of the attacks.”
Corroborating the NADP report, Bishop Anagbe confirmed that any claim denying the nature of violence as persecution against Christians, such as western claims that the situation is due to climate change and overpopulation, was emphatically not true but “propaganda.”
“They say it’s about climate change; this is not true,” he declared.
Western globalists like Bill Gates have repeatedly claimed that climate change is principally due to overpopulation in African countries while proposing contraception, abortion, and mass vaccination as means to control and “reduce” the population. The widespread violence at the hands of Islamic Fulani herdsmen would seem to be a tolerable situation to such a way of thinking.
— Dr. Stella Immanuel MD (@stella_immanuel) June 21, 2023
Proposing to be an expert of “population control,” Gates recently visited Nigeria, eliciting strong reactions on Twitter, with African American physician Dr. Stella Immanuel dubbing him the “grim reaper.”
— Dr. Stella Immanuel MD (@stella_immanuel) June 20, 2023
Explaining that the goal of making Nigeria an Islamic State began in the 1980s, Bishop Anagbe said what is taking place in the country today is a result of the program laid out then by Islaimc leaders. “In 1989, there was the Abuja Declaration that Nigeria should be established as an Islamic state; this is what we are seeing gradually now today.”
According to research on the conference that issued the Declaration, “This conference, organized by the 46-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), resolved to create an organisation to be known as Islam in Africa Organisation to spearhead an Islamic takeover of Africa, under the guise of an initiative to solve the problems facing Africa.”
Objecting to the goal of such an Islamic takeover of Africa, the bishop of Makurdi declared, “We should be allowed to worship God. As it is now in some places you cannot even go to Mass and then you go to Mass with a lot of heavy security, within your own country, and that should not be.”
Relating the toll that the persecution has taken on him as bishop, Anagbe said, “For me, it’s been a very traumatic experience, and it’s something I don’t wish anybody to go through. Within [three years] I have lost 18 priests, some of them kidnapped and then released but some die in the process. I have lost about 13 parishes. It’s difficult. You are moved by the zeal of the apostolate to preach the mission, but you cannot go there, and the people are not there.”
Describing the plight of the countless displaced Christians who have fled their homes, Anagbe said, “People are leaving, and they don’t know where to go. They are living as refugees, but in this case, they are refugees in their own country, in their own state. This is their predicament, and they cannot go home, and nobody comes to assist. So, it is very painful.”
Reflecting on the need to persevere in faith in spite of persecution and martyrdom and the need to speak out against such violence, the courageous bishop stated, “The Fathers [of the Church] said, ‘The blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christianity.’ In moments of crisis, you talk to God when human beings have failed. We have to keep our faith alive. Persecution has been part and parcel of the life of a Catholic. But then it doesn’t stop the faith of the people.”
“We constantly keep on praying. God will surely hear our prayers. So, that’s why the Mass is so important and why we pray. We have to trust God in the midst of this crisis. If we keep quiet, a generation will be wiped out; the population will be wiped out. People are being killed. We cannot just continue to keep quiet. These are defenseless people. So, I want every person to know that there are these atrocities taking place in Nigeria.”
Asking for prayers for the persecuted Church in Nigeria, the bishop said, “God answers prayers. Prayer will sustain us and sustain the faith of the Church.”
This is not the first time that Anagbe has raised his voice in defense of the persecuted Christians in Nigeria. In 2021, at an event organized by religious advocacy group Aid to the Church in Need, the bishop said of the attacks on Christians by militant Fulani herdsmen, “The attacks have become so frequent that some families have suffered multiple displacements as even designated IDP camps sometimes come under attacks … The intensity of the killings suggests an ethnic cleansing agenda,” he declared.
Contrary to the recent claims of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) — which sought to portray the militant Fulani Muslims as the victims of religious persecution at the hands of the government and Nigerian Christians rather than the perpetrators of the extreme violence — Anagbe detailed that the Fulani, motivated by religion, were “systematically” murdering local populations and then occupying their territories. “The killings have a motive of religion behind it. The Fulani killers are Muslims and the conquering of territory is paramount to large Muslim populations in Nigeria,” the bishop said.
To view LifeSiteNews’ extensive coverage of the Islamic persecution of Christians in Nigeria, click here.