1000 Christians dead in Ivory Coast massacre?
I came across this story on David MacGregor’s blog, and in trying to find more went to 1000 dead in Ivory Coast church massacre: The Church of England Newspaper, April 8, 2011 p 7. Conger:
Over a 1000 Christians have been killed by Muslim soldiers at a mission station in Duékoué the Ivory Coast, the aid agency Caritas has reported.Details of the massacre remain unclear, with conflicting reports on the number of dead. However, wire service reports and news bulletins released by the Salesian Info Agency (ANS) report the killings began on March 29 and are tied to the civil war between President Laurent Gbagbo and his rival Alassane Ouattara.
The last sentence in that extract, however, makes it look like an unreliable source, a tendentious piece of political propaganda. Laurent Gbagbo is the ex-President of Liberia. A less tendentious way of putting it would be to say that they are both rivals for the disputed presidency, but in fact Gbagbo, when he failed to be re-elected, tried to seize power in a military coup, which has been escalating into a civil war.
So I would like to know more about the source of this news, which is cited as the Church of England Newspaper. Where did they get the story? Can that tell us anything more about the source? Following this link produces Subscribe today | ChurchNewspaper.com:
To access all areas of our website and gain access to weekly online copies of the newspaper, you must be a subscription-paying member. You can choose to subscribe to the website, the printed edition of the paper or both.
So I don’t know whether the tendentious reporting was that of the Church of England Newspaper or their alleged source, the Salesian News Agency, but you can’t see the link they have provided, if they have, unless you subscribe. But the Salesian web site does carry the story, which you can see here Salesian Missions | Our mission gives hope to millions of youth around the globe.. They say “More than 20000 Ivory Coast refugees flock to Salesian Center” Any details? Zilch. There’s a photo of four people, who could be anywhere, with the caption “Help now with a gift.”
A Google search finds lots of blogs with this story, but no hard news sources, and the church sources seem to be using it mainly for the purpose of asking for money. And shame on the Church of England Newspaper for apparently siding with a would-be military dictator who has tried to seize power in a coup. Actually both claimants to the Ivory Coast presidency seem to be pretty unsavoury characters, but that’s another story.
The GetReligion site keeps tabs on bad reporting on religion in the secular press, but who will keep tabs on the religious media?