Catholics in Nigeria will be wearing black outfits on Ash Wednesday to mourn those killed in kidnapping and other violent attacks across the country.
The Catholics Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) in its statement which is to be read at masses across Catholic churches on Wednesday February 26, called on the government to live up to its responsibility of protecting Nigerians while also pointing out the church’s moral responsibility.
It read in parts:
“As a mark of mourning for all our brothers and sisters who have been victims of the most recent wave of violence against Christians, we are all dressed in black today and offer our prayers and penance for their repose.
“We invite the universal church and all Christians to join us in prayers for our dead brothers and sisters and for peace and security in Nigeria.
“We equally appeal to the international community to come to the aid of the Nigerian government in the fight against these daredevil terrorists, who want to destabilise our country.
“The consequences, should they succeed, will be grave not only for the West African sub-region but also for Africa as a whole.”
The statement signed by Augustine Akubeze and Camillus Umoh, president and secretary of CBCN respectively came weeks after the Christian Association of Nigeria held ‘prayer protests‘ across Nigeria to call the government’s attention to the rising spate of killings in the country.