“The work we do is beautiful,” Fr. Fidelis said. “In the midst of dark and gloom, there is light.”
To Christians in the United States, he urged them to “cherish” freedom of religion.
“You have the faith here. It’s a privilege. Cherish it. You have the opportunity to worship in peace? Cherish that faith. Cherish that freedom you have, and be faithful to the faith,” he said.
In Nigeria, he said, “it’s sad that is the reality, that you are not too sure about traveling 120 miles or even 60 miles in safety.
“We should be talking about people living in peace, children going to school,” he said.
The agenda of Boko Haram and its offshoots is succeeding, he claimed. The name of the group, roughly translated, means “Western culture is forbidden,” and Fr. Fidelis argued that terrorists have succeeding in forcing the closure of schools out of security concerns.
“Can’t we see the bigger picture of what is happening, that Boko Haram is winning?” he said. “They want to persecute Christians and establish a caliphate. With the kidnappings in schools now,” he added, “can’t we see schools are closing?”
Some have claimed that the Islamic State West African Province and its splinter group Boko Haram attack villages because of a scarcity of resources driven by climate change.
“And I beg to differ seriously, about this narrative of climate change and resource control. There is an agenda, and it is Islamic,” Fr. Fidelis said.
“Why is no one talking about the Islamicization, the killing, the targeting of churches, the abduction of women? What has resource control got to do with kidnapping women and girls?” he asked. “How do you fight for resources by abducting people? How do you fight for resources when you burn a church?”