World Media Watch

Nigerians Tell the West to Practice What It Preached

WASHINGTON POST, Oct. 24 — Devout Christian Nigerians adhere firmly to the view that homosexuality is ungodly, and they have been rankled by its growing acceptance among church leaders in the United States and Europe, the Washington Post reported.

“Homosexuality is against the book,” said Dayo Okusami, 58, as she picked up a Bible at this month's opening of the National Ecumenical Center, a multi-denominational cathedral in this capital city. “Here we still follow the book. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of homosexuality. That's it. God doesn't change. He's not human.”

As the descendants of Nigerians who abandoned their traditional values under the influence of Western preaching, some Christians here say they feel betrayed and offended that the spiritual descendants of those missionaries are now trying to change the rules.

There are now more Anglicans in Nigeria than anywhere but England, and the Catholic Church, with 150 million faithful in Africa, is growing faster there than on any other continent.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, a Christian in a country split between a largely Muslim north and a Christian and animistic south, told a conference of African Anglican bishops last year, “Surely the good Lord, who created us male and female, knew exactly what he was doing. Any other form of sexual relationship is a perversion of the divine order, and sin.”

Rwandan Priest to Deny Genocide

BBC NEWS, Oct. 31 — A Catholic priest charged on four counts of genocide in Rwanda is due to start his defense at the war crimes tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania, BBC News reported.

Father Athanase Seromba denies telling some 2,000 ethnic Tutsis to seek shelter in a church and sending bulldozers in to raze it to the ground.

Defense arguments were meant to begin in March but were delayed by disputes between Father Seromba and his lawyer. Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in the 1994 killings.

Father Seromba was the first Catholic priest to go on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Bishops Pray for Bomb Victims, and Condemn Violence

ASIANEWS, Oct. 31 — The Indian Bishops’ Conference assured families who lost loved ones in the Oct. 29 bombings in New Delhi that killed 61 of its prayers,” AsiaNews reported.

Speaking about the tragedy, Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, president of the bishops’ conference, said: “We pray that God may grant peace to those departed souls and give strength to all those who bear serious losses. Axcts of violence can, by no means, be a solution to grievances of any kind. On the contrary violence will only further aggravate the situation and create more disorder and chaos in society.”

The militant Islamic Inquilab Mahaz (Front for Islamic Uprising) had admitted it staged the bombings.

John Dayal, president of the All India Catholic Union, said, “The Pope has spoken for all of us in describing terrorism as a sin and a scourge of the present times. … The Christian community abhors violence and condemns the massacre of innocents in the name of ideology or religion or politics. We pray for the victims, the survivors and for the bereaved families who must live with this terrible loss all their lives.”