Archbishop of Niamey in Niger warns of threats to Christianity in the Sahel Region
The Catholic Archbishop of Niamey in Niger, His Grace Michel Cartateguy has warned that much of Africa's Sahel region is facing a coordinated Islamic campaign that is causing fear and anxiety among Christians. Speaking from Niamey on Tuesday at the ordination of Auxiliary Bishop Djalwana Laurent Lompo, he noted that in recent months Islamic militants in several Sahel countries have carried out attacks against non-religious targets, but that their well-coordinated activities are sending clear messages to non-Muslims that they could be the next targets. He gave the example of Mali where Islamic militants were driven out of the northern part of the country which they had declared independent and where they were implementing a strict Islamic law. He said many people had thought that the militants had been defeated once and for all by a combined force of French and African troops, yet they merely regrouped in southern Libya and mounted attacks in Algeria. He told the faithful that he had requested for an auxiliary bishop because he was unable to visit parts of Niger out of fear of being abducted by the militants because he is a French national.