Tag Archives: Martyrdom

An Ecumenism of Blood: Boko Haram and the Christian Martyrs of Nigeria

by Ezekiel Olagoke

Over the last thirty years, Nigeria has been plagued with numerous terrorist upheavals that have sometimes bordered on the apocalypse, of which Boko Haram is one. While key attention has been paid to the killing of Christians in the Middle east and other parts of the world, very few works have examined the nature of Christian massacre in Nigeria over the last few years. The manifold mayhems perpetrated by Boko Haram are not just limited to the northeastern part of Nigeria but have global ramifications. By and large, terrorist groups like Boko Haram do not use conventional tactics except on very few occasions when they confront the Nigerian military; their tactics that are often meant to engender fear, intimidation, and death in the communities they target.

While the localized effects of devastation, dislocation, and death have been born by both Muslims and Christians, my focus in this essay will be on Christian victims of Boko Haram. Christians in the northern part of Nigeria are among the voiceless minorities who have lived in a marginalized status in the midst of an overwhelming Muslim population, especially in states that have embraced sharia law over the last twenty years. It is the voices of these victims that beckon the larger global community of Christians in particular, government and non-governmental organizations and social activists in general. Continue reading

The Promise Behind “The Promise”

by Christopher H. Zakian

The Promise

In 2015 the victims of the Armenian Genocide—long referred to as martyrs—were formally acknowledged as Christian saints, as the world marked the passage of a century since their suffering. Authorities of the Armenian Church proceeded with the canonization ceremony despite some indeterminacy about the precise number of saints being identified, on the assumption that clarity would arise over time.

Nevertheless, with the Armenian Church having identified Christian martyrdom as the deepest meaning of the Armenian Genocide, it’s worth considering how, and to what extent, this theme arises in a new film set during the Genocide, The Promise. Continue Reading…