Basel, Switzerland – In addition to supporting the appeal for prayer issued by Mennonite World Conference (MWC), the Konferenz der Mennoniten der Schweiz (KMS – Conference of Swiss Mennonites), has reached out in solidarity with the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria – EYN).
In north-eastern Nigeria, Christians and moderate Muslims are currently suffering severely from the consequences of attacks by terrorists known under the name Boko Haram. EYN has been heavily affected by these violent attacks, with more than 700,000 members displaced and some 1,670 churches destroyed.
The Täuferisches Forum für Friede und Gerechtigkeit (Anabaptist Forum for Peace and Justice), of the KMS, was invited to participate in the Nigeria Advocacy group of Mission 21, an ecumenical Protestant Mission from Basel.
“We thought that having links both through MWC and a local-ecumenical link might be meaningful,” explained Hanspeter Jecker.
EYN is part of the historic peace church tradition, and in light of this, Mission 21 wanted another peace church to participate in their Nigeria Advocacy group. They invited Jecker and Heike Geist, both professors at Bienenberg Theological Seminary, to participate as representatives for the Swiss Mennonite Mission, MWC and KMS, a MWC member church.
On 12 June 2015, a resolution proposed by the Nigeria Advocacy group was discussed and adopted by Mission 21.
At this meeting Hanspeter Jecker shared from the Mennonite perspective, “The presence of the historic peace churches is characterized by a commitment to renounce violence, through biblical-theological reason, following in the footsteps of Jesus, to not respond to evil with evil, but that evil shall be answered with and ultimately overcome by good.
“This belief alone does not guarantee a peaceful and quiet life. But it is based on the hope that Good Friday is not the last word, but that there is Easter, followed Pentecost. This faith is not condemned to having to accept all injustice and suffering in silence.
“That is why the present resolution is so important. It is an expression of fraternal solidarity with those who suffer in Nigeria. It is an expression that peace without justice is not to be had. And it is being ready to support the Easter-Pentecostal signs of hope in the midst of great need.”
Click here to read the full resolution.