Five months after Boko Haram abducted more than 200 girls in Nigeria’s Borno State, the Islamic extremist group has begun occupying churches in the country’s northeastern region, church officials there said.
The militant group, which church leaders and analysts view as an African variation of the Islamic State, is also beheading men, forcing Christian women to convert to Islam and taking them as wives, officials said.
“Things are getting pretty bad,” said the Rev. John Bakeni, the secretary of the Maiduguri Roman Catholic diocese in northeastern Nigeria. “A good number of our parishes in Pulka and Madagali areas have been overrun in the last few days.”
The militants have turned the church compound and rectory of the St. Denis Parish in Madagali town into their base, the priest said. The militants overran the church center on Aug. 23.
“The priest in charge managed to escape, but they took his car and important church documents,” said Bakeni.
“Many civilians are now on the run,” he added. “Many others are being trapped and killed. Life means nothing here. It’s so cheap and valueless.”
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SOURCE: Religion News Service