John Paul II Center Alum Father Richard Gokum ‘19 analyzed religious violence in his country of Nigeria, specifically attacks on Christian farmers by Fulani herdsmen, in an article for Encounter – Journal of African Life and Religion’s 2019 edition.
Titled “Politicization of religion: A Reflection on the Fulani Herdsmen attack in Nigeria,” Father Gokum’s essay examines the religion-political implications of the Fulani herdsmen attacks in Nigeria.
The Fulani herdsmen are a semi-nomadic, ethnic group living in the central regions of Nigeria and the majority are Muslim. For centuries, they have clashed with their Christian neighbors, destroying houses and churches, as well as seizing land and properties.
Gokum argues in the article that the attacks grossly violate fundamental human rights and damage unity in Nigeria. He advocates for politics to be conscientiously practiced under the guidance of true religion for the betterment of society, rather than the detriment.
Nigeria ranks as the 12th worst nation in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA’s 2019 World Watch List.
Encounter is a biannual publication put out by The Association of Nigerian Priests, Religious and Seminarians (NIPRELS) in Rome. Gokum’s article is part of the journal’s dialogue initiative.