My VIPs for this week are Reverend Johnnie Moore and Rabbi Abraham Cooper. These two men are recognized worldwide as human rights advocates. They recently co-authored a book titled The Next Jihad: Stop the Christian Genocide in Africa. In a recent interview with Virginia Adams at The Daily Signal, they “explain what is happening to Christians in Nigeria and why they chose to come together to shed light on a situation the media is largely not covering.”
Allen asked Reverend Moore why we
hear so little about the persecution of Christians in Africa when the news
covers it in the Middle East and parts of Asia. Moore replied that ISIS-like
terrorists killed more Christians in 2015 in Nigeria than ISIS killed at its
height in Iraq and Syria. The new reported daily on what was happening in Iraq
and Syria but mentioned little about what was happening in Nigeria. Moore said
that terrorists may have killed as many as 100,000 people in the past two
decades in Nigeria, and the killing is “escalating very, very quickly.”
Moore continued with a description and
other information about Nigeria: “It’s the largest country on the continent. It
has the largest economy on the continent, the 10th-largest oil
reserves in the world. It is a type of suffering that has been happening in the
shadows, and the world needs to awake into it.”
Allen asked Moore why a Christian Reverend
and a Jewish Rabbi traveled to Nigeria in February. Moore replied that he was
encouraged by Cooper to travel to Nigeria to meet with the suffering Christian
victims and to hear their stories.
The most important thing that could happen
from this book, “The Next Jihad,” is that people can hear the stories of these
people who have suffered incomprehensible harm at the villages that have been
raised, the women that have been taken as slaves, the children that have been
killed in grotesque ways in cold blood for their fate alone, the pastors who’ve
been beheaded, the people who’ve been forcibly converted. I mean, it just goes
on and on and on.
When the media reports it, they generally,
which [is] rare, they report it as tribal warfare or a dispute over resources.
And one of the things that we sort of came away settled with is … while all
those things might also be true, at its very heart, there is a religious
component to this conflict.
I mean, when you have terrorists running
into villages saying, “Allahu akbar,” as they burn down the homes and churches
of people whose property they feel religiously entitled to, I mean, that is
But whenever your opinion is, if it’s
religious terrorism or resources or tribal conflict, it doesn’t change the
fundamental facts on the ground, which is that there’s a very, very bad
The Nigerian government, a democracy, an
ally of the United States, is not taking care of their people, and we’re
saying, “Enough is enough. Nigeria needs to act now.”
Allen then asked Cooper why he
thought that it was so important to travel to Nigeria. Cooper replied that his goal
was “to put a human face on what had been until now a drip, drip, drip of horrific
headlines of CNN, The National, BBC, ‘17 Murdered.’” He said that the one that
really captured his attention was the takeover of a college dorm in the middle
of the night. Any of the young people who could recite the Quran were left
alone, but the “Christians had their throats slit.” To Cooper and others at
Simon Wiesenthal Center, it “sounded horrible echoes of earlier eras, including
during the Nazi period when Jews were selected and taken out.”
Cooper’s second reason for making
the journey was that no one was doing anything about the genocide in Nigeria.
He said, “institutionally, we’ve met with Pope Francis twice, and we’ve
emphasized as a Jewish human rights organization that, of course, is concerned about
anti-Semitism and the defense of our people, how Christian minorities are
targeted all over the world.” He said to Moore, “Johnnie, we have to go to
Nigeria.” They wanted to put “a human face on suffering,” so they traveled to
Then from a practical point of view, as
you’ve heard, the geopolitical importance of Nigeria, the fact that ISIS is now
relocated and it’s putting down roots right next door to Nigeria, and you have
Islamist terrorists operating and a million kids on streets of that country that
should be in school, you don’t have to be an expert to know that we’ve got the
human rights disaster, we have [a] humanitarian disaster in the making, and
potentially cannon fodder for, God forbid, a resurge I ISIS that could strike
at the heart of Africa, and obviously, try to come back and hit us again.
On every level, this crisis is important.
When you asked before why doesn’t anybody do it, why don’t we hear about it,
out of sight, out of mind.
As we learned from the Soviet Jewry
movement during the Cold War, what we learned even today, we teach about the
Holocaust each day, [Josef] Stalin said, “One death is a tragedy, a million
deaths a statistic.”
So, Moore and Cooper went to Nigeria
to put “a human face to an issue.” They wrote the book to fulfill a commitment
that they made to the victims, “that they’d be heard and they’d be seen.” People
worldwide declared that nothing like the Holocaust would ever happen again.
Apparently, it is happening, but our media chooses to keep the information
hidden from us.