Sammy met with Nigerian Pastor Aminu at an Open Door’s event at Westminster last week.
Sammy said he was greatly moved by the story which Pastor Aminu told MP’s and Members of the House of Lords.
He is a Pastor in a province in the North Eastern part of Nigeria where Boko Haram, who are a Muslim terror group, have been very active since before Christmas.
Pastor Aminu’s congregation has been diminished from 500 to 14 in the period from 14 November 2016 when Muslim’s in the area engaged in a pogrom against the Christians. Over that period he has buried scores of his congregation who have been murdered in their homes at night and the rest of them have had to flee the area for their own safety. There have been a number of attempts on his life but he is determined to continue to serve God in the area to which he has been called.
The actions against Christians are nothing new in this area because there has been Government sponsored discrimination on a systematic scale against Christians for many years. Christians are not allowed to stand for election, they are not allowed to hold posts in schools above the rank of teacher, they are barred from positions within the civil service and Christian students are not admitted to courses in Universities. Indeed Pastor Aminu’s own son has been refused a place to study law in the University that serves his area.
Whilst this Government sponsored discrimination and whilst the Government turns a blind eye to the systematic killing of Christians, the UK Government continues to give billions of pounds of aid to Nigeria on a yearly basis.
I believe that the Minister responsible for foreign aid ought to be attaching conditions to any money that is given to the Nigerian Government to ensure that the freedom of religion and the human rights of Christians in Nigeria are protected by law.
I will be urging the Government to stand up for Christians who are persecuted in Nigeria and to use financial leverage to bring pressure on the Nigerian Government to deal with this scourge of Muslim terrorism against the Christian population.
I would encourage people to pray for brave people like Pastor Aminu who will be leaving London this week to go back to an area where, as he told the gathering in Westminster, he may well lose his life because of his faith.