Vanguard (Lagos)

20 June 2012

Nigeria: Pope Urges End to Attacks On Christians in Nigeria

Pope Benedict on Wednesday called for immediate end to what he called "terrorist attacks"against Christians in Nigeria and urged all sides to avoid reprisals.

The escalating violence has raised fears of wider sectarian conflict in a country reeling from months of attacks on churches, government buildings and other sites by the Islamist Boko Haram sect.

The movement styled after the Taliban appears bent on provoking Christian-Muslim clashes as part of its campaign to carve an Islamic state out of parts of Nigeria.

At least 40 people were killed in clashes between Muslim and Christian residents in the northern city of Kaduna on Tuesday, triggered by the suspected Islamist bombings of three churches, according to figures from a Nigeria Red Cross official.

"I am following with deep concern the news from Nigeria, where terrorist attacks are continuing especially against Christians," the pope said at his weekly general audience.

"I appeal to those responsible for the violence to immediately stop the spilling of the blood of many innocent people."

He urged all groups in Nigeria to shun "the path of vendetta"and work towards building a peaceful society where people were free to practice their religion.(Reuters/NAN)

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2012 Vanguard. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.