WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) is expressing solidarity with a newly-formed group seeking to counter the Islamic supremacist and terrorist group Boko Haram.
The Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans (CANAN) press conference will address misconceptions and explain why some U.S. Congressmen believe Boko Haram should be designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
Opposed to western education and culture, Boko Haram killed almost 1,200 people, primarily Christians, in the northern and central belt states of the West African country between January and September of 2012. The group declared Christians must leave northern Nigeria, convert to Islam, or be killed. In one horrific incident in Bauchi State recently, a suicide bomber killed 3 and injured 48 church members of St. John's Catholic Cathedral that were departing after services.
IRD Religious Liberty Program Director Faith J.H. McDonnell commented:
"IRD welcomes the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans. We will stand with our Nigerian brothers and sisters in combating the evil persecution of Nigerian Christians and all those that are targeted by Boko Haram.
"Close ties bind us to the Anglican Church of Nigeria, the largest province in the worldwide Anglican Communion. One Anglican diocese has been almost completely wiped out by Boko Haram with communicants either killed or exiled. In all Nigerian Christian churches, parishioners worship not knowing whether they will still be alive by the end of the service.
"The U.S. Congress and Department of Justice urge the State Department to designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Simultaneously, the State Department plans to give Islamists in north/central Nigeria billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars, under the impression that Islamic jihadists act as they do because they have been financially and socially deprived. There has been no monetary recompense at all to the Christian victims of Boko Haram for burned or bombed houses, businesses, schools, and churches, or for murdered breadwinners.
"IRD is upset at the climate of moral equivalence concerning Nigeria by the Administration and by foreign policy Think Tank elites. Some try to blame 'extreme, militant evangelical proselytization' for the terrorist attacks. Others push a false narrative of equal blame for conflict between Christians and Muslims."