The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned the forceful conversion to Islam of the Christians among the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, stating that the act was a confirmation that Boko Haram, a fringe Islamist sect, was waging a war against Christianity.
Recently, the Boko Haram terrorists posted a video clip online and disclosed that kidnapped Christian schoolgirls had been converted to Islam.
CAN’s national secretary, Reverend Musa Asake, reacted to the development on Monday. He described the purported conversion as unacceptable and called on the Federal Government and the international community to act fast.
According to him, the forceful conversion of the girls confirmed that the Boko Haram sect has a religious agenda, adding that it was now clear that the group was waging a war against Christians and Christianity.
The association also rejected demands by Boko Haram for the release of their detained members as a condition for freeing the girls, insisting that the Boko Haram members being detained are criminals who committed heinous crimes against humanity and that they should face the wrath of the law.
CAN also accused a Nigerian correspondent of the Cable News Network (CNN) of downplaying the fact that the majority of the abducted girls are Christians. “We condemn the forceful conversion of abducted Christian girls from Chibok into the Islamic fold by the Boko Haram terrorist group,” the CAN spokesman said.
Mr. Asake said, “Our Muslim brothers told us that Islam is not by compulsion,” adding that CAN was surprised that Boko Haram has forced Christian girls to convert.
“This is a confirmation that Boko Haram is waging a war against Christianity. We are calling on the federal government and the international community to know that there is no ambiguity in what the Boko Haram actually wanted – they are waging a war against Christians and Christianity,” said CAN’s statement.
Mr. Asake added: “We also want to urge that the CNN reporter in Nigeria should be called to order because he is downplaying the reality of what is going on. [The] majority of the girls kidnapped are Christians, but he is downplaying this fact and misleading the world. We don’t know whose agenda he is executing but we are calling on him to let the world know the truth.
“Those girls are not Muslims and we are urging the terrorists to return them to their parents.”