Nigerian cleric describes “open season on Christians”

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The president of the Christian Association of Nigeria says his nation’s 80 million Christians are being terrorized by an Islamist sect whose name means “Western education is sacrilege.”

Boko Haram and its offshoots have killed more than 1,600 civilians since 2010, according to an Associated Press count.

At a press conference in Washington, the Rev. Ayo Oritsejafor said he gets reports every week of churches being bombed and pastors being murdered.

Earlier this month, officials say at least 48 students and seven teachers were killed, with some burned alive in a school dormitory.

In Washington, Oritsejafor repeated his call for the U.S. to declare Boko Haram a foreign terrorist organization, suggesting that could sap its weapons and funding. The State Department has only designated some Boko Haram leaders as terrorists.

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