EKD Press Releases
"We mourn with the people in Nigeria"
EKD Bishop for Ecumenical Relations shocked at the news from West Africa
June 05, 2012
"Nigeria is going through dark days," commented Martin Schindehütte, the bishop responsible for ecumenical relations and ministries abroad for the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). He was responding to the news from Nigeria last week. On 31 May a German hostage, who had been in the power of kidnappers since January, died during a failed action to free him. On 3 June a passenger plane crashed near Lagos, with over 150 people killed. On the same day seven people were killed and many more injured during a terror attack on a church in Bauchi, about 400 km northeast of the capital Abuja.
"We mourn with the people in Nigeria. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims," said Schindehütte in Hanover. "The German-language congregation in Lagos will remember the dead and their relatives in a service next Sunday, 10 June. I invite the Christians in Germany to share in the suffering of their brothers and sisters in Nigeria with prayers and intercessions."
The Rev. Christoph Roller, German pastor stationed in Nigeria, wrote to his congregation:
"We mourn the death of Mr. Edgar Fritz Raupach, who died in a failed police action to free him at the end of May. He had been held hostage since 26 January in and had long been thought to have disappeared." In a video made by the hostage-takers it was clearly visible that he must have had to suffer great fear of death. "We in the German-language congregation had never stopped hoping and praying that he would be released. Now we must bow to the terrible news of his murder."
The terror attack on the church and the plane crash were further traumatizing events for Nigeria. Roller continued, in his letter: "I ask your sympathy with the possibilities you have. Not everyone can pray but perhaps you can be with the victims in your thoughts. Anyone who knows them well should weigh up how much closeness and accompaniment is possible. It is my wish that God will support and strengthen you.
As Christians we live in hopes that we will one day be at home with God. We surrender the deceased into loving hands. We trust that God will not leave us alone in difficult times but will be on the spot, mostly through loving, dependable people. In Abuja we will remember the dead and their relatives in our worship on Sunday, 10 June 2012. Those wishing to mourn and seek hope with us are warmly invited to come to the Berger Life Camps school at 5 pm."
Hanover, 5 June 2012
EKD Press Office