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Northern CAN knocks MURIC for linking Christianity with kidnapping, banditry

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 Northern States and Abuja yesterday faulted the Muslim Rights Concerned (MURIC) for linking Christianity with kidnapping, banditry and other crimes in the country.

Specifically, the group said the attention of its leadership has been drawn to a statement by the MURIC on the abduction of nine children in Kano, as the Muslim group had said, “the phenomenon of kidnapping for Christ has now rented the air.”

While cautioning religious leaders against comments capable of provoking negative reactions across the country, the CAN said, “It is provocative and reckless for MURIC to say that some Christian fanatics live among us only for the purpose of abducting our children, converting them to Christianity and selling them into slavery.”

In a statement issued by Vice Chairman of Northern CAN, Reverend Joseph Hayab, the group said, “While we condemn the abduction of the children in very strong terms, we wish to state that we take exception to MURIC’s reckless, irresponsible, derogatory and provocative utterances.

“Criminals are everywhere and in every religion. Therefore, for MURIC to say a crime was perpetrated for Christ is sheer mischief and an attempt at provoking Christians.

“How could any rational, sane and educated person associate the action of criminals to a religion? We have had many instances where Christian girls were abducted, forcefully converted to Islam and married to criminals in Northern Nigeria. In some instances, the police either refused to act or turned blind eyes.”

“Will it be right to accuse all Muslims of the action of such criminals? The answer is no. A group, which belongs to a particular religious group, has been alleged to be responsible for the kidnappings and banditry across the country, especially in the North.

“Will it be right to say that they are committing the crime to promote their tribe or religion? We also have the case of Leah Sharibu who is still being held by Boko Haram insurgents for refusing to denounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam. No Christian has associated Muslims with such criminal acts. We only cry for our own who are victims.”

Besides, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has described the abduction of about nine children in Kano State as worrisome, urging Nigerians to expose perpetrators of evil and criminality in the country.

It’s National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, in a statement described the development as unwarranted and unbridled and urged police to further investigate the motives behind the abduction, as well as to bringing culprits to justice.

“ACF and Nigerians are shocked and pained by the recent media reports of innocent children being kidnapped by some criminals in Kano State and sold for purposes of slavery and other inhuman activities in Anambra State.

“The media reports are that the abducted children are being converted to other faiths and given different identities other than their original faiths and names. This new dimension to kidnapping is worrisome and disturbing,” the statement reads.


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