Fifteen Parliamentarians from both Houses have publicly backed a Catholic charity’s petition calling for Government action to stop the growing persecution of Christians in Nigeria.
The 10 MPs and five peers leant their support to the Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) (UK) campaign, calling on the UK to demand their Nigerian counterparts do more to bring to justice those responsible for terrorism across the Middle Belt and the north-east.
Petition signatory Lord Alton of Liverpool, a leading advocate for persecuted Christians, told ACN: “Islamist groups are making life hell on earth for so many Christians and other communities across parts of Nigeria, overshadowed by horrific violence.
“What we see is a calculated effort to drive the Christian community away. Surely, there is more that the Nigerian government can do to stop it.
“It’s why Baroness Cox and I have asked the International Criminal Court to assess whether the atrocities which have been committed constitute a genocide.”
He also said: “I strongly support Aid to the Church in Need’s #RedWednesday petition – endorsed by my long-standing friend and Parliamentary colleague Baroness Cox – calling on the UK Government to press their Nigerian counterparts to do more to bring the perpetrators of this violence to justice.”
Other Parliamentary signatories include MPs Patrick Grady, Brendan O’ Hara, Cat Smith, Jim Shannon, Tommy Sheppard, Marie Rimmer, Julian Lewis, David Linden, Chris Green and Sammy Wilson.
From the House of Lords came support from Lord Singh of Wimbledon, Lord Selkirk of Douglas and Lord Hylton, Bishop Christopher Cocksworth of Coventry, and Lord Alton.
The petition has garnered almost 2,000 signatories in the weeks since it was launched in Parliament by Baroness Caroline Cox, the long-time campaigner for persecuted Christians, who met suffering Christians in Nigeria in trips dating back almost 20 years.
- To sign the ACN petition calling for action to bring to justice those responsible for terrorist violence against Christians in Nigeria visit www.acnuk.org/petition-2022
- ACN’s Persecuted and Forgotten? A Report on Christians oppressed for their Faith 2020-22 will be launched in the House of Lords on Wed, 16th November at 3.30pm. Keynote speaker: Bishop Jude Arogundade from Nigeria. Entrance by ticket only.
- #RedWednesday – 23rd November – Events at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, Binney Street, London W1K 5BQ. 5.45pm: Rosary; 6.15pm: Divine Liturgy followed by talks. All welcome. For information on this and other #RedWednesday events, visit https://acnuk.org/events/
Aid to the Church in Need is a Pontifical Foundation directly under the Holy See. As a Catholic charity, ACN supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in need through information, prayer, and action.
Undertaking thousands of projects every year, the charity provides emergency support for people experiencing persecution, transport for clergy and lay Church workers, Child’s Bibles, media and evangelisation projects, churches, Mass stipends and other support for priests and nuns and training for seminarians.
Aid to the Church in Need UK is a registered charity in England and Wales (1097984) and Scotland (SC040748). ACN’s UK office is in Sutton, Surrey and there is a Scottish office in Motherwell, near Glasgow and another office based in Lancaster.