Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, along with some U.K. politicians, has urged the British government to help protect Christians who are being increasingly persecuted and killed in Nigeria. The Anglican leader also suggested that climate change is exacerbating violence there.
Reponding to a question from Baroness Cox, Welby said, “I am sure the [minister] shares my deep concern about the violent attacks on Christians.
“The minister has rightly said how complex the situation is, but can she answer more specifically what assistance the U.K. government can do in the short-term to strengthen the government of Nigeria in its role in enforcing security and local mediation.”
“In the medium-term to ensure reconciliation which will enable the lives and economies of farmers and herders to be protected; and in the long term, actively and tangibly to support regional efforts to combat the effects of climate change — the development of desertification which is exacerbating ancient rivalries?” he asked as he addressed the House of Lords, as reported by Anglican Communion News Service.
Christian Nigerian leaders have been praying across the country for an end to the violence, warning that Fulani herdsmen attacks continue devastating Christian communities, forcing thousands to flee as refugees. Last month, the Christian Association of Nigeria and church denominational heads in Plateau State called the violence “pure genocide,” noting that over 6,000 persons have been “maimed and killed” by Fulani hersmen this year.
Conservative Peer Baroness Goldie replied to Welby by stating that the government stands ready to “support Nigerian-led initiatives” to end the violence, and that it has called on the international community to “develop sustainable solutions to the conflict, including support for community conflict resolution initiatives which we believe are essential.”
Goldie added that “we are considering options for how the U.K. can support reconciliation at local levels. We cannot ignore the fundamental causes for the violence and so we are reviewing HM Government’s support for Nigeria in, for example, as the Most Reverend Primate suggests, tackling climate change.”
Last November, Welby said in a op-ed in The New York Times that climate change is driving poverty and forcing people in places like Nigeria to leave their homes, which in turn is fueling dissatisfaction.
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Source: Christian Post