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‘A defining moment for Christians’

Bishop blames the Nigerian government after the murder of a young seminarian

Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto in Nigeria YouTube/EWTN

‘A defining moment for Christians’

NIGERIA: The killing of 18-year-old Catholic seminarian Michael Nnadi “is a defining moment for Christians and Christianity in Nigeria,” said Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah at a funeral Mass in Kaduna. Kukah blamed the Buhari government for failing to secure northern states and other areas from Muslim terror groups:

“No one could have imagined that in winning the Presidency, General Buhari would bring nepotism and clannishness into the military and the ancillary Security Agencies, that his government would be marked by supremacist and divisive policies that would push our country to the brink.”

Read his homily in its entirety.

CHINA: Authorities demand tracking data for residents via state-run cellular networks while expanding roundups of the sick as health officials confirmed a jump in coronavirus cases. Using new diagnosis methods, they announced more than 15,000 new cases and 254 additional deaths in the hot zone of Hubei province.

TURKEY: The story of the Assyrian priest, known locally as Father Aho, helps to explain why Christianity is disappearing in the land where it first took hold (Tur Abdin once had the oldest church communities in the world). Authorities arrested Aho in January for giving food and water to alleged Kurdistan Workers’ Party terrorists, then released, but a formal indictment became public last week.

ISRAEL: Families in the northern Galilee town of Jish, a majority Christian enclave that’s been at the center of the revival of Aramaic as an official language in the country, on Tuesday woke up to slashed tires and extremist graffiti. Authorities investigating the incident believe Jewish extremists are behind the attack—the third in 18 months. Spates of such “price tag” attacks target Christians and Arab Muslims, even though they are Israeli citizens.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet this week released a blacklist of companies doing business in Israel, hoping to jumpstart a flagging boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against the Jewish state. In a 1975 speech, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Patrick Moynihan criticized such singling out of Israel, saying, “The abomination of anti-Semitism has been given the appearance of international sanction.”

EGYPT: Authorities have again delayed a court hearing for Rami Kamil, jailed since November 2019 and a legendary advocate for Coptic Christians.

IRAQ: Record snowfall in Alqosh and other parts of northern Iraq continues.

SYRIA: A Russia-led UN decision to restrict border crossings into northeast Syria is hampering relief efforts amid the cold and snow. An estimated 600,000 Syrians have fled fighting in Idlib to northeast Syria since Dec. 1, 2019.

Free Burma Rangers distributed aid outside Manbij on Thursday. A feature-length documentary on the group is out in theaters Feb. 24 and 25. I’ve seen it and recommend it.

JAPAN: Local koban police boxes are the heart of a system learned by the Japanese at an early age to track and restore millions of lost items. A centralized lost-and-found center in Tokyo has a 7,100-square-foot room … just for umbrellas. Said one mother:

“Children are taught at nursery school and kindergarten to return found items to the koban. … My son is just six years old, but [the koban officers] treated his concerns as those of an adult.”

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Mindy Belz

Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine’s first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afghanistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run From ISIS With Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C.



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