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Faith and Justice: The Nigerian people are hospitable and hard-working, but they face huge problems: corruption, sectarian violence, and an almost total dependency on oil revenues.
Faith and Justice: Half-Christian, half-Muslim, Nigeria is a country where faiths must live together in peace or they will die in great numbers.
Under the shadow of Boko Haram violence, Nigerians head to the polls Saturday to elect a president and a deputy in a vote observers say is critical for the country's stability and economic progress. Many Christians in Nigeria's north are backing a Muslim candidate to lead their country away from the brink of violence and chaos.
Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim from the north and the leader of the All Progressives Congress party, is challenging the leadership of incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the south who heads the ruling People's Democratic Party.
A delegation representing Catholic organizations in Nigeria offered words of comfort and pledged help for Nigerian refugees who fled to neighboring Cameroon because of a violent insurgency.
Led by Bishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji of Umuahia, chairman of Caritas Nigeria, the fact-finding delegation visited Minawao Camp in Maroua, Cameroon, in mid-March to meet with some of the estimated 36,000 Nigerians who have sought safety in recent weeks.
The visit was arranged after the Cameroonian bishops' conference approached the Nigerian bishops about the plight of the refugees.
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Underlining the failure of the Nigerian government to stop the violent rampage of Boko Haram, a Catholic bishop has called for Western military intervention.
The Muslim militant group's increasingly deadly assaults and expanded recruitment from countries across North Africa mean "a concerted military campaign is needed by the West to crush Boko Haram," said Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri, capital of the troubled Borno state.
While the Nigerian government negotiates with the Islamic militant group Boko Haram for the release of 200 abducted schoolgirls, some church leaders in the country's conflict-ridden north are expressing doubts about any impending resolution.
Nearly two weeks ago, the government announced a cease-fire with the militants. It set Oct. 24 as the date for the girls' release, but that failed to happen.