Nigerian bishops have urged the government to hasten its efforts to free 219 schoolgirls who were abducted by insurgents two years ago.
Bishops Matthew Audu of Lafia and George Dodo of Zaria called on officials to boost intelligence gathering efforts and muster the political will to find the girls, who in April 2014 were taken from their dormitories by Boko Haram forces during a middle-of-the-night raid at a school in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria.
“Only God knows what their abductors might have done to them, where they would be by now,” said Dr Audu, continuing, “It might be true that some might have been killed, some molested and some married out by their abductors. That we can still recover all those abducted… is not certain.”
Cardinal John Onayiekan said Nigeria’s government should be “ashamed” of its failure to retrieve the girls.
‘Be political’, Brazilians told
Christians must not vacate the political square, the head of Brazil’s bishops’ conference has said.
Brasilia’s Archbishop Sergio da Rocha said that with the country’s municipal elections on the horizon, “lay Christians cannot relinquish their participation in politics”.
He called especially on Catholics “to give reason for their hope in this time of crisis which Brazil is experiencing”.
The bishops’ call came at a time of widespread antipathy to politicians, in advance of the country’s congressional vote to impeach President Dilma Rousseff. After the elections, Dr da Rocha said, “it is important that the community is ready to follow the elected”, urging lay Christians “to prepare, according to their vocation, skills and education”.