European Parliament condemns Christmas massacre of Christians but blames climate change

(Photo: Getty/iStock)

The European Parliament has passed a resolution condemning Christmas attacks on Christians in Nigeria that left at least 195 people dead and hundreds more injured. 

In addition to the deaths, many thousands of people were displaced by the violence that destroyed homes and churches.

The resolution "strongly condemns all type of murderous attacks across Nigeria and expresses its solidarity with the Nigerian people". 

It calls on Nigeria "to take meaningful steps to identify and address all root causes of the violence in Plateau state, such as competition for scarce resources, environmental degradation and the disappearance of effective mediation schemes".

While the resolution says that the perpetrators are "yet to be identified", Christian groups have attributed the attacks to radicalised Fulani herdsmen.

The European Parliament has come under fire for blaming the attack on climate change and environmental factors by saying that "whereas the conflict is increasingly described in religious terms ... several factors are to be taken into account such as competition for land fuelled by rapid climate change and the failure of authorities to hold to account those responsible for violence". 

Dr Georgia Du Plessis, legal officer for the Alliance Defending Freedom International, challenged the European Parliament's position on the violence.

"While we applaud the European Parliament's recognition of the horrific Christmas massacre targeting Christians, we are disappointed that the resolution downplays the religious causes of the violence while highlighting issues such as climate change. Climate change does not cause people to massacre whole Christian villages," he said. 

MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen shared these concerns: "Saying that it is a mere conflict between farmers and herders fails to acknowledge the other causes. It is Muslim extremists causing death and destruction." 

Another MEP, György Hölvényi, said, "Blinded by ideology, some people are totally insensitive to human suffering when it comes to Christians.

"The timing of the attacks, brutal killings, and destruction of churches cannot be misinterpreted and can only be understood as the persecution of Christians and we should be able to say so."