Many Nigerian Christians still celebrated Christmas despite the constant threat of Boko Haram sending suicide bombers into churches. The Christian Post reports that 5,000 Catholics gathered for a Christmas mass in Maiduguri alone.
Director of Communications of the Diocese of Maiduguri Father Gideon Obasogie told Fides News Agency that most of those who came to the Maiduguri Christmas mass were from Adamawa state, a region which is controlled by Boko Haram.
The people "have no homes, cannot celebrate Christmas as usual with their relatives and friends, and are forced to live in a state of hopelessness,” Obasogie said. Still, the congregants celebrated Christmas “with great joy and faith.”
The message at the mass was delivered by the Bishop of Maiduguri, Oliver Dashe Doeme. Obasogie said the message gave the people “great consolation, that their sorrowful hearts were transformed into foundations of great bliss as he assured them of the fact that their names were written in the book of life in heaven even as they suffer pains and rejection on earth."
Christians make up about half of Nigeria’s population.
Publication date: December 30, 2014