Catholics in Nigeria are marking Ash Wednesday by wearing black clothes to protest the killings carried out by insurgents in Nigeria.
In reaction to the security challenges in the country, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria were quoted in a statement asking the faithful to wear black or at least black armbands as a sign of mourning and solidarity with the victims of kidnapping and other violent crimes.
Catholics who attended Ash Wednesday Mass at their different parishes to kick off the Lenten season did so in black attires.
Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi
In a statement, signed by the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), the faithful were invited to join a “Day of Prayer Procession” to kick off the Lenten season, to protest the state of insecurity in the country.
The statement, signed by the president of the CBCN, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, to be read in all parishes on Ash Wednesday, described the procession as a part of the Church’s moral responsibility.
The march, holding on Ash Wednesday, is against “the repeated barbaric executions of Christians by the Boko Haram insurgents and the incessant cases of kidnapping for ransom linked to the same group.”
Emphasizing the importance of peace, the statement reads: “May we, once again, remind all the arms of the government in Nigeria and all whose responsibility it is to protect Nigerians that without security there can be no peace, and without peace, there can be no development or national growth.”