After the kidnapping of 276 school girls in Nigeria, Bishop Richard Pates urged the U.S. government to work with Nigeria and faith-based groups to build social cohesion and end violence. Bishop Pates, who chairs the U.S. bishops' Commitee on International Justice and Peace, sent a letter to National Security Advisor Susan Rice encouraging the United States to work both with the government of Nigeria and faith-based institutions.
“The Church in Nigeria has called for continuous dialogue among political, military and religious leaders to end the violence, complemented by effective police and military action that brings perpetrators of violence to justice while respecting human and civil rights,” wrote Bishop Pates. Referring to both Christian and Muslim faith-based institutions, he said, “Their efforts will be crucial in counteracting the extremist religious views espoused by Boko Haram.”
Bishop Pates has also written to Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, to express the U.S. bishops’ solidarity. He added that he was encouraged by the efforts of the U.S. government to help Nigeria bring the perpetrators to justice.