To our brothers and sisters at the Nigeria YMCAs

Date: 07 July 2015

To our brothers and sisters at the Nigeria YMCAs
and to the Jos YMCA

Our hearts are heavy with the stories of the terror attacks that have killed over 200 Nigerian men and women this week and the rampant destruction of over 32 churches and 300 homes. The bombings outside a church in Potiskum and a mosque in Kukawa strongly highlight the threat that religious tolerance and freedom pose to those who want nothing more than to control and instil fear in all free peoples. That Boko Haram now targets Muslim practices that encourage peaceful coexistence and an open dialogue between religions serves to remind us that these terror attacks are not about faith but instead power and control.

As a YMCA we are especially concerned with how the youth are being used as instruments of violence in Nigeria. We support and pray for the Nigerian YMCA movement as you continue your crucial work as a space of learning and acceptance and applaud you for providing Nigerian youth with places that encourage and support everyone, no matter their origin, religion and race. That the YMCA becomes a space where all youth are embraced and can gather for an open dialogue on all the issues that affect them is vital for the development and empowerment of all youth.
We encourage you to find strength in your faith and stand with you during this difficult time.