- Nov 28, 2020
Bishop Matthew Kukah has decried “cries of shrill Islamization across the land,” enabled by government corruption, according to a Jan. 8 report from the Catholic News Service of Nigeria.
Despite being Africa’s most populous country and a potential economic superpower, Nigeria’s image around the world is often based on corruption, violence and under-achievement. A PR institute wants to “rebrand” the way Nigeria is seen, but one of the country’s leading bishops says that will require real change, beginning with fixing a broken educational system.
Bishop Matthew Kukah of Nigeria is warning that Boko Haram will continue to recruit young people so long as efforts aren’t made to educate the youth. He said the rise of the Islamic terrorist organization is one of the consequences of “having over 15 million kids walking the streets with no education. Just feasting on drugs…these are the consequences for the country.”
Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto, Nigeria, says the widespread loss of Christian faith in the West was “absolutely” among the causes of the diminishing influence of the Catholic Church in his own country. “The Arab world is pouring money into Nigeria and the Pentecostal pastors in America are doing the same, and the Catholic Church is now becoming the weakest in terms of access to resources,” he said.
Despite heading a diocese in a region of northern Nigeria known as a Boko Haram stronghold, Bishop Matthew Kukah insists that there is no real Muslim/Christian divide in his country, and that clashes perceived as religious are generally a ‘cover’ for the government’s failure to foster a genuine democracy in the country.
On day one of a March 22-25 summit of African Catholic leaders in Rome, there was a strong sense that after a period of explosive growth for the Church on the continent, there’s a need to reflect and take stock across the board, in areas ranging from theology and liturgy to the role of women and politics.