Loading
Nigerian archbishop denounces Christmas terrorist attacks
Archbishop John Olurunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja. Credit: ACN
Archbishop John Olurunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja. Credit: ACN

.- A leading Catholic bishop in Nigeria denounced the terrorist attacks over Christmas and criticized media reports that depict the ongoing violence as a civil war between Muslims and Christians.

Archbishop John Olurunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja denounced Boko Haram, an radical Islamist group, as “terrorists who cause problems for anyone in Nigeria who stands in their way.”

“They claim to act in the name of Islam, but the killing of innocents is contradictory to Islam,” he told Aid to the Church in Need on Dec. 30.

His comments followed five separate bomb attacks across Nigeria on Christmas Day, one of which targeted a crowd leaving Mass at a Catholic church. The attacks killed at least 40 people and were accompanied by clashes between the Nigerian military and Boko Haram, which claimed responsibility for the attacks.

More than 50 people died in Nigeria’s southeastern Ebonyi state in a New Year’s eve clash between the Ezza and Ezilo ethnic groups. Aid to the Church in Need said the conflict was a land dispute, though some reports have described it as a religious conflict.

Archbishop Onaiyekan said that eight imams from mosques in Abuja visited the archbishop after the attacks to express their condolences. He said he had also received many letters of sympathy from Muslims.

“Christians and Muslims go to school, to the market and to work together, and they serve together in the army. The places where they live now are where they grew up,” the archbishop said.

A purported spokesman for Boko Haram gave a three-day ultimatum for Christians to leave the mainly Muslim north of Nigeria on Jan. 2. He also asked Muslims living in the mainly Christian south to move north.

The archbishop rejected the idea as one that would plunge the country into a deeper crisis.

“One cannot suddenly resettle all the Muslims in the north and all the Christians in the south and divide up the country,” he said.

Some media reports said that Nigerian Christians are arming themselves after the attacks. Archbishop Onaiyekan called on all believers to refrain from violence.

“Jesus Christ would not want us to retaliate,” he said.

The archbishop said it was equally wrong for the media to present Christians as either helpless or as “being prepared to defend themselves with armed force,” as some reports have suggested.

Archbishop Onaiyekan concluded his remarks by asking Christians throughout the world to pray for peace in Nigeria.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
Jul
23

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
07/23/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Homily
Date
07/23/14
07/21/14
07/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: