Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - Catholics across Nigeria will don black attires on Ash Wednesday 26 February 2020, as a sign of mourning and solidarity with the victims of kidnapping and other violent crimes in the country. This is what Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) Fr. Zacharia Nyantiso Samjumi, announced to the press,
"I have been directed by the Administrative Board of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) to communicate to you that in the face of the current security situation, the Church needs to speak out in word and action against the level of insecurity in the country", Fr. Samjumi.
In a follow-up message to Parish Priests, the Board directed, "On Sunday 1st of March, there shall be no evening Mass in our City Parishes. That evening, we shall have a peaceful prayer protest against the incessant killings and insecurity in our country".
In their Ash Wednesday message published on February 21, Catholic Bishops in the country invited the universal Church and all Christians to join them in prayers for the "dead brothers and sisters and for peace and security in Nigeria".
"We are sad. We are in sorrow and grief. But we are confident that the light of Christ, which shines in our hearts, will brighten the dark corners of our Nigerian society", said the Bishops. "The level of insecurity in Nigeria today is such that whether at home or on the road, most Nigerians, in all the parts of the country, live in fear", denounces the message that adds "the repeated barbaric executions of Christians by the Boko Haram insurgents and the incessant cases of kidnapping for ransom linked to the same group and other terrorists have traumatized many citizens". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 24/2/2020)