THURSDAY
February 24, 2000
volume 11, no. 39
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

NIGERIAN BISHOP: POLITICAL MOTIVES BEHIND VIOLENCE

    VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, has warned that the recent clashes between Muslims and Christians in that country have been provoked not genuine religious disputes, but efforts to destabilize the government of President Olusegen Obasanjo.

    Speaking to representatives of the Fides news agency, Archbishop Onaiyekan said: "There are elements that do not approve of the politics of President Obasanjo, and are using religious problems to put him in trouble." The resulting outbursts, he said, are "endangering democracy" in Nigeria.

    At least 100 people were killed in Nigeria on February 21, in a series of bloody clashes that began with Christians protesting against the imposition of Islamic Shari'a law. The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said that the situation was "explosive," and that many Islamic zealots were attacking Christians with clubs and machetes, and burning down the homes of Christian families.

    However, Archbishop Onaiyekan insisted that the drive to establish Shari'a law was itself motivated by a desire to undermine the Obasanjo government. He observed that opponents of the new president are receiving financial support from abroad. "Everyone knows that Saudi Arabia has promised economic aid to countries that introduce Islamic law," he observed.

          

February 24, 2000
volume 11, no. 39
NEWS & VIEWS

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