Today, some 17 million people live in the former French colony. Less than 2 % of the population of Niger are non-Muslim. Since the attacks in the past two years on Christians in the neighbouring countries of Burkina Faso and Mali, violence has increasingly arisen against Christians in French-speaking Niger. In 2016, ACN provided aid for the livelihood of Catholic priests, as well as for the spiritual formation of youths and religious sisters.
On 16 and 17 January 2015, as a consequence of the terrorist attack due to the publication of Muhammad cartoons in the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, Islamic violence spread to other French-speaking countries. In the course of just four hours, about 80 % of the Christian churches were destroyed in Niger. The buildings affected most were those in the capital, Niamey, and the country’s second-largest city, Zinder.
In addition, there were violent attacks on Christians. About 70 suspects were arrested after the attacks. However, none of those arrested have been placed on trial to date, leading to greater fear among the small Christian community.
» Belief as a sign of hope in a better future. «
In order to maintain a Christian presence in the country, the material support of priests and the formation of seminarians and sisters are an important sign to secure the future of the Catholic Church Niger. To this end, we remain in close contact with the local Church.
In 2016, we were able to secure stipends for sisters of the “Fraternité des Servantes du Christ” in Tibiri and Dan Bako, for example, so that in addition to their pastoral work in the small communities, they can also be further trained in nutrition and hygiene.