WRITTEN BY MARK KOLSEN, GUEST WRITER OF AAI NEWS TEAM
John Adowye’s story is almost unbelievable. A gay Catholic priest who could never overcome his fear of hell, he left Nigeria for the United States, hoping he could turn straight. After three futile years, John not only has accepted his sexual orientation but has become a strong, critical voice of religious oppression.
A gay Nigerian boy who enrolled in seminary and became a priest to escape bullying? Who didn’t grasp Catholicism’s anti-gay doctrine until the age of 22? And who, fearing the fires of hell, immigrated to the United States after reading an Exodus pamphlet promising him he could “convert” from gay to straight? Yet, a Nigerian who today says, “Africa has too much religion”?
Maiduguri, Nigeria: More than 60 women and girls abducted last month by Boko Haram militants in northeast Nigeria have escaped their captors, sources said on Sunday.
According to Daily Journal, Nigerian atheist released from the mental ward to which his Muslim family committed him by force said Thursday he is getting death threats for blaspheming against Islam.
Mubarak Bala, a 29-year-old chemical process engineer, said he is in hiding in predominantly Muslim northern Nigeria where Shariah law holds and some interpretations have blasphemy punishable by death.
He has been incarcerated in a mental health institution by his family after saying he had lost his belief in God.
"People are threatening me, I mean life-threatening threats," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. He said he was too frightened of drawing attention and wouldn't allow an AP video journalist or photographer to come to his hiding place.
According to BBC News Africa, four villages in north-eastern Nigeria have been attacked by suspected Boko Haram militants who targeted at least one church.
Some unconfirmed reports say 40 civilians and 6 insurgents were killed as militants and vigilantes clashed.
It is the latest assault on villages near Chibok, the town where more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted in April.
According to The Guardian, a Nigerian man has been incarcerated in a mental health institution by his family after saying he had lost his belief in God.
Mubarak Bala, 29, is said to have been forcibly medicated for "insanity" for nearly two weeks, despite a doctor's opinion that he has no psychological problems.
Campaigners are calling for his release and say the case highlights the fact that atheists are a persecuted minority in many African countries.
Bala's Twitter account uses the handle "ExMuslim", and his profile says: "Chemical Process Engineer. I stand for Truth & Justice. Religion insults human conscience & reason, duped me that I have another lifetime. Agnostic Atheist."