￼The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has described the purported conversion of the abducted schoolgirls of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, to Islam as act of persecution and war against Christianity.
A statement by the National Director of Research, Elder Sunday Oibe, noted that the girls could not be used as an exchange for the release of any Boko Haram member.
“I have the consent of our national president (Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor) who is abroad to address you. First, these children are Christians and not Muslims and so they cannot be converted to a religion that is not theirs at gunpoint without conviction,” Oibe told journalists.
He added, “Is that how conversion is being carried out? All the children displayed are Christians and that is the motive behind the abduction.
“It is simple. Because they are Christians and they represent the Church in the eyes of their abductors.
“Secondly, it smacks of some form of religious persecution. If not, why are their captors converting them to another religion?
“And if they say they will use them as a condition to negotiate their men in detention, our daughters are not criminals and cannot be used in any way to free their criminal fighters.
“Show us where in Nigeria you have seen Christians fighting and throwing bombs in the name of God; we challenge any one to show us where Christians have abducted Muslim children in the name of Christianity.
“We challenge anyone to prove to us in Nigeria where Christians have taken arms in the name of protecting Christianity or even carry out acts of genocide on helpless and defenceless Nigerians.
“As far as we are concerned, it is a war against Christians and Christianity.
“We are not speaking for the Nigerian state. The state will speak for itself, but we cannot be forced by some people to define for us our predicament and persecution.
“It is a war against Christians and the Church. We are feeling it and deeply affected. No amount of propaganda can deter us from saying the truth.
“We have said ours. It is now left for the government to expedite action and return our children to us. They (abducted schoolgirls) are Christians, they are not slaves, they are not Muslims and it is unacceptable to us. Let the whole world see it now”, he lamented.
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