Unless you live in Nigeria, or take a special interest in that nation’s politics, you probably had never heard of Boko Haram until last Christmas Day when the group bombed several churches killing some 41 people. On the day when Christians celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, Boko Haram intruded with sectarian violence of the ugliest kind, premeditated and indiscriminate, the planned killing of women and children when they were harming no one.
At Catholic University next month, a symposium will be held to examine Boko Haram and the challenge the group poses to Nigeria’s national unity. I asked the symposium’s organizer, Fr. Aniedi Okure, O.P., how “Boko Haram” translates into English. “Western Education is Sinful,” he replied. "Actually, the word 'abomination' is closer to the meaning they intend."