This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Continued Religious Violence in Northern Nigeria

Religion has always been one of the most contentious of the sociodemographic variables in human society. In Nigeria, of course, religion has been such an issue that the question about it was dropped from census long ago, as I note in Chapter 4. It was Christmas time last year that the militant group Boka Haram, which aims to overthrow the government the government and impose Sharia law in Nigeria, launched a series of bombings against Christians and just yesterday they killed 10 Christians in an overnight machete and gun attack in Borno state in north-east Nigeria. BBC News has the story:
Late on Saturday night, residents say a group of men went from house to house in a largely Christian area of the remote village of Chibok, before slitting the throats of 10 people.
"Suspected Boko Haram came at night and set people's houses on fire before killing their victims," Nuhu Clark, a former councillor of the village who escaped the attack, told Reuters news agency. He said he counted 10 bodies.Human rights groups say that more than 3,000 people have been killed by Boko Haram since 2010.
Everyone should be troubled by these events no matter where they occur, but what happens in Nigeria is especially important to the rest of us because it is already the eighth most populous country in the world, and by 2050 the UN Population Division projects that it will be the fifth most populous. Such a geographically large, demographically complex, resource rich, corruption ridden country will affect the rest of the world in ways that are not yet quite clear, but you know that this matters for the future.

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