Abuja, Nigeria, Mar 12, 2018 / 21:06 pm
With widespread violence plaguing Nigeria, Catholic religious sisters in the country have united in the name of peace to counter the mounting conflicts.
“The news of murders, massacres, kidnappings, lootings, trafficking in human beings and the actions of Boko Haram are staggeringly frequent and have even increased in recent times,” said Sister Bibiana Emenaha, coordinator for the Committee for Women’s Dignity Support, according to Vatican Insider.
“That’s why NCWR [National Conference of Religious Women] decided to take to the streets and, in addition to asking God for support, to gather women and men of good will to stop this worrying state of things,” Sister Emenaha continued.
On Feb. 14, the Nigerian religious sisters hosted a national day of prayer and fasting, where hundreds across the country united to pray for peace. This event was hosted by the Nigeria Conference of Women Religious and the African Faith & Justice Network.
This prayer and fasting imitative was only the beginning. The sisters additionally began to actively urge the government to create programs that would combat violence and work towards building bridges of peace within the communities.
“We are asking for greater security and protection of life and property,” said Sister Emenaha, noting that they are particularly requesting ways that the government could “stop the bloodshed as soon as possible.”
The sisters, who are members of the NCWR, have also jumpstarted a number of initiatives to aid the victims of violence within Nigeria, including a rehab shelter for survivors of human trafficking. This facility, located in Benin City, offers legal, psychological, spiritual and material support to women and girls who have been affected by trafficking and human slavery.
The program also offers educational campaigns on trafficking to schools, churches, media, and local communities. The sisters have so far seen tremendous support for their efforts and have been able to reintegrate around 380 individuals.