A resolution expressing support for Christians in Nigeria, under siege by the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, passed unanimously at the Annual Synod of the Missionary Diocese of CANA East on Saturday, May 3, 2014, in Wayne, PA. The Synod was the second annual gathering of the diocese, one of four missionary dioceses in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) led by Missionary Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Julian M. Dobbs.
Thousands of Nigerian Christians, including Anglicans, have been killed or injured by Boko Haram, which was finally designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the U.S. State Department last November. The radical Islamist group seeks the eradication of Christians and the total Islamization of Nigeria.
Boko Haram’s latest and possibly most despicable action was to abduct (new estimation) 276 school girls, mostly Christians, from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, northeast Nigeria, on April 14. Reports indicate that the militants are selling these teenage girls and otherwise enslaving them. The abductions followed a declaration by Boko Haram leader, Abubaker Shekau, made just weeks before that “in Islam, it is allowed to take infidel women as slaves and in due course we will start taking women away and sell in the market.” Prayer at the CANA East Synod focused on this tragic event.
This resolution showing solidarity with persecuted Nigerian Christians has a special poignancy because the Diocese of CANA East is a missionary diocese of the Anglican Church of Nigeria and many of its members are Nigerian Americans. And for disenfranchised former members of the Episcopal Church in the United States, such shows of solidarity might be considered a demonstration of gratitude to the Church of Nigeria that offered them a home.
Here is the complete text of the resolution, Prayers for the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion):
BE IT RESOLVED, that this Synod hereby expresses its profound gratitude to the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) for its generosity to and support of Anglicans in North America.
Be it further RESOLVED, that this Synod expresses its support for Christians and everyone whose life and livelihood have been or are being devastated by the attacks of the Boko Haram in Nigeria.
We hereby call on all levels of government in Nigeria to protect its citizens, especially Christians, from the wanton destruction of human life, church property, and personal property perpetrated by radical Islamic elements.
Our sincere prayers are with the citizens of Nigeria, especially the Christian community. May Almighty God defend and provide for His people for Christ’s sake.