Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on media coverage of the Catholic massacre in Nigeria:

Father Andrew Abayomi was finishing his celebration of Mass at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo state (Nigeria) on Pentecost Sunday when terrorists shot the congregation and threw explosives at the church building, killing dozens of people. This was only the latest in a series of killings carried out by radical Islamists against Christians in Nigeria, though the media are reluctant to discuss the identity of the terrorists.

No one was better at describing what happened than Nina Shea, whose expertise is monitoring religious liberty worldwide at the Hudson Institute. “The massacre in a church while filled with Sunday worshippers is an atrocity that we’ve repeatedly seen in northern Nigeria over the years. Those were the work of Islamist extremists.” Mostly Muslims live in the north of Nigeria; the south is populated by Christians.

Among the media who did an accurate job reporting on the mass shooting was Christianity Today, Quartz Africa and Reuters. They made it clear that Muslim radicals were to blame.

The New York Times and the Associated Press made a passing reference to the role of Muslims ( and the Washington Post picked up the AP story). Many others were worse.

The National Catholic Register branded what happened a “massacre,” and PBS spoke about “gunmen”; neither identified who they were. Catholic News Agency also ran a story on the “gunmen,” but also issued a report citing Shea.

Catholic News Service and the BBC were particularly egregious in covering up the role of Muslim extremists. They both referenced the Reuters story, which made it clear that Muslims were persecuting Christians, but neither made any mention of that fact, preferring to talk about “gunmen.”

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