ND Expert: Recent Nigerian violence indicative of international persecution of Christians

by Michael O. Garvey

Daniel Philpott Daniel Philpot

The most recent religious violence in Nigeria has killed 21 people, most of them Christians, and according to Daniel Philpott, associate professor of political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame, it is all too representative of a worsening persecution worldwide.

“The recent shootings in Nigeria underline two morally urgent tasks, both in Nigeria and around the world,” Philpott said. “One is reconciliation, particularly between warring members of different faiths. The other is to expose and oppose the persecution of Christians in particular.”

Philpott, a faculty member in Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, writes and lectures widely on the resurgence of religion in global politics.

“In the past year, Christians in Nigeria have been victims of numerous lethal attacks,” Philpott said, “but across the world Christians amount to 75-80 percent of those persecuted for their faith, who themselves number in the millions.”

This topic will be among those discussed at a conference on contemporary Christian martyrs, “Seed of the Church”, to be held at Notre Dame Nov. 4-6.

Contact: Daniel Philpott, 574-631-7667, philpott.1@nd.edu