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January 26, 2015

As brutal as the terror attack was on the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, it hardly compares in savagery with the Jan. 3 attack on several villages in northeastern Nigeria by the terrorist Boko Haram, which left as many as 2,000 people murdered.

There are many "reasons" why the world's attention was riveted on Paris and not Baga, Nigeria. First, there are few journalists in the remote Baga region, Boko Haram having made it clear that it will shoot journalists first and ask questions, well, never.

Second, the Nigerian conflict is an ongoing war while the Paris attack was (somewhat) out of the blue. Third, the Nigerian government is so ineffective that it barely responded to the massacre and, at this writing, the country's president, Goodluck Jonathan, still has not commented publicly on the killings.

Despite all this, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that African disasters matter less to the West than do those anywhere else in the world. This is reflected in media coverage; alas, it is sometimes also reflected in the prayers in our churches where the tribulations of Africa do not rate highly.

The Boko Haram terrorists know no scruples. They kidnap young girls to sell as sex slaves so they can buy guns, they strap explosives onto 10-year-old girls and send them into crowds, and they kidnap young boys to be their soldiers.

They kidnapped 276 schoolgirls nine months ago; most of the girls are still unaccounted for. Now, they have slain up to 2,000 people in remote villages.

When will the world take these terrorists seriously and intervene to protect those whose lives are at risk?