Photo Credit: Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi
[ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] The Archbishop of the internal province of Jos and Bishop of Jos, Ben Kwashi, has shared his story in a new book about living on ‘the front line’ in the north of Nigeria.
The book, by Andrew Boyd, is called, ‘Neither Bomb nor Bullet, Benjamin Kwashi, Archbishop on the Front Line’. It charts the Archbishop’s life from childhood, into the Nigerian army, his encounter with God and how his Christian faith has put him and his family at risk from extremist persecution.
The Archbishop, whose home is in Jos, Nigeria - an area surrounded by armed militants fighting to create a hard-line Islamic state - has faced three very serious attacks on his life.
A charismatic and influential figure, Ben Kwashi has continued to call on Christians to resist what he sees as virtual genocide by extremists trying to drive all non-Muslims out of northern Nigeria. His courage and refusal to keep silent led to his house being burnt down.
Over the past 30 years he and his wife have experienced horrific violence at the hands of extremists, who twice attacked and assaulted them in their own home. His wife, Gloria, was savagely attacked and assaulted while he was away. She was found semi-conscious and partially blinded.
In the book, the Archbishop explains how Gloria made a miraculous recovery after the attack and he received emails from all around the world, saying they were being prayed for. “When I thought of all those prayers around the world, a new determination came upon me. I said, ‘Lord, no more fear. I’m going to be an unrepentant preacher, an apologist for the gospel of Jesus Christ.’ ”
The book records their refusal to be driven from their hometown and reveals how the Archbishop and his wife made the decision to forgive and found strength to press on.
They have since turned their home into an orphanage and its grounds into a zoo.
Archbishop Ben’s message is to live joyfully for the gospel, even in the face of terror.
‘Neither Bomb nor Bullett’ is published by Lion Hudson