ON TUESDAY MAY 22, 2018 Catholics all over Nigeria came out in prayer, and in procession, and in demonstration as mark of our anguish in a land that is increasingly becoming uninhabitable for us and for our faith. In compliance with directives of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria CBCN, Catholics took to the altars, to the Rosary, to the streets, to the abode of power to express that we shall not abandon our faith to the will of our traducers,that we can stand up for our faith as many have done over the age and that we shall.

The funeral of Rev. Fr. Joseph Gor and Rev. Fr. Felix Tyolaha and of 17 other Catholics murdered during Mass on April 24, became the occasion for our out-coming; the rational for raising our voice so that they can hear and know that we shall not lie down for them any longer, any more. While hundreds of thousands gathered at the funeral, many more processed around the country. But then, we should ask. “Does this have to happen?” Must they – the priests- die for our tormentors to know that we have a voice, and we would make it heard when necessary? From now on, we shall not be quiet.

And we have not been quiet, only that our attackers appear tone deaf to our cries. Our Bishops, individually and in conferences have not been quiet on behalf of the voiceless, and on behalf of Christ and His Church, it is just that our foes, and their collaborators among us, have always found a way to explain that we are not targets because we are Catholic Christians, but because there is hunger in the land. If there is hunger in the land, must we be fed to them and their children?We are hungry too.

We have become endangered species in the land of our birth. The land of our forefathers has been turned against us and against our very existence, for how can we talk of existence in a clime where we cannot freely practice our faith?

We have been told, and shown in more ways than one, that this land is one where we have a right to worship to the extent that is permitted by those who by virtue of their dominance of all segments of power and authority, call the shots at all times and in all manners. They dominate the executive and the legislature; theymonopolize the judiciary and the military; they overpopulate the bureaucracy. Adherents of a religion who see us as irritants that must be exterminated run wild over the landand we are left at their mercy  like Israelites in Babylon; a people in captivity.

May the souls of Fr. Joseph, Fr. Felix and all the faithful martyred on March 24, be accepted to the place of grace of Christ their saviour. May their death not be in vain, but further the Kingdom of Christ on earth.

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