A Christian pastor in Nigeria is encouraging the faithful to extend financial aid to a local Muslim woman who suffered grave physical injuries after her boyfriend allegedly splashed acid on her body.
According to a report in the local newspaper Vanguard, Senior Pastor Joshua Iginla recently made a presentation during a church service to seek help for 26-year-old acid attack victim Jamila Yusuf.
Yusuf reportedly suffered burns on 60 percent of her face, and 10 percent burns all over her body after being attacked with acid by her fiancé.
During the meeting with church members, Iginla, who is also a known televangelist in the African nation, said helping Yusuf is a form of standing up for the rights of women and condemning physical violence.
"I think Nigerians should rise up to defend the rights of women; to lay your hands on a woman is injustice. I just don't know how a man can do this (pour acid) on a lady; some people are just animals; how can you disfigure a lady like this," Iginla said, as quoted by Vanguard.
The Christian pastor added that Yusuf represents the "hundreds" of women suffering violence and abuse in Nigeria.
"I am not doing this for her because she is a member of my church; I don't know her from anywhere; she's even a Muslim and not a Christian. We are only doing this to preach love and not to convert her to Christianity after her surgery in India," he said.
The Church leader said Yusuf needs 10 million Nigeria naira, or equivalent to almost $32,000 to undergo surgery in India. He pledged to raise the amount within the week to cover expenses for the acid attack victim's air transport, accommodations and food while she recovers from the surgery.
"This is an opportunity to show love to your neighbour because she's not a Christian; your neighbour must not necessarily come from your religion or ethnic group," Iginla said.