In a recent letter sent to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, H.Em. Card. Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ, President of COMECE, expressed his solidarity to the Christian communities in the African country, who are “living a situation of continuous attacks by terrorists, insurgents and militias, that in some cases reaches levels of genuine criminal persecution”.
In the letter to the Nigerian Bishops, Cardinal Hollerich assured that COMECE will advocate for intensifying the EU assistance and cooperation with the Nigerian authorities and institutions, including Churches and religious communities, in order to combat violence and persecution, and to improve the stability and prosperity of Nigeria.
Already in May 2020, in the context of the growing persecution against Christian communities in the African country, COMECE called the EU and its Member States, as well as the entire international community, to increase their efforts in order to stop the violence in Nigeria, bring criminals to justice, support the victims and promote dialogue and peace.
In particular, COMECE urged the International community to use diplomatic, political and financial instruments to assist Nigerian authorities to stop the violence, bringing the criminals to justice, supporting the victims and fully including Christians (47% of the national population) in all State structures and levels of administrations – including the police and armed forces.
“My thoughts and my heart are with the many young people who are forced to leave the country because of violence and lack of socio-economic prospects”, stated the President of COMECE.
Expressing his closeness to the migrants and their families, to those who escape violence and seek asylum, to the victims of trafficking enslaved in our own countries and to all displaced persons seeking for a safer place to live, Cardinal Hollerich reiterated the need to welcome, protect, promote and integrate them.