Vatican City, Apr 19, 2016 / 23:03 pm
Terrorism in the name of religion is a lie, the head of the Holy See’s mission to the United Nations said last week.
“In the Middle East, in particular, terrorists must never be allowed to destroy centuries of peaceful co-existence of Muslims and Christians in the region,” Archbishop Bernardito Auza said at the United Nations April 14.
The archbishop, who is the apostolic nuncio leading the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations, spoke in the U.N. Security Council’s open debate on threats to international peace and security.
Archbishop Auza said terrorist groups which claim to kill in the name of religion show “mendacity and blasphemy” that must be denounced “in the strongest possible terms.” Religious leaders particularly have a grave responsibility to condemn those who seek to instrumentalize religion for violent and oppressive ends, he said.
“No one of whatever religion or culture must ever be allowed to carry out acts of violence and oppression in the name of that religion or culture or under whatever pretext,” he added.
Terrorism represents “a fundamental threat to our common humanity,” the archbishop continued. The fight against it requires “a shared commitment from all nations and people of good will.”
Archbishop Auza noted terrorism’s trans-national character. He cited the 30,000 foreign fighters from 100 U.N. member states who have entered Islamic State-controlled territory.
“Once trained and completely indoctrinated in the most warped and violent ideologies, they travel to sow terror in other countries,” he said.