Pope condemns religious violence

Speaking in St Peter's Square yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI has strongly condemned recent violence against churches and mosques in Iraq and Nigeria.

AsiaNews reports that, in his address after the Angelus, he referred to the destruction of the golden dome in Samarra, and violence in several areas across Iraq, characterised by mutual vendetta between Sunnis and Shi'ites.

He branded such actions as moves which "sow mourning, feed hatred and seriously obstacle the already difficult work of reconstruction in the country". The Holy Father also condemned the destruction of churches and mosques in Nigeria, where Christians and Muslims have been clashing for some days now.

"I express firm condemnation for the violence in places of worship, I entrust all the dead and those who mourn them to the Lord," said Benedict XVI. With harsh words for those who foment inter-religious hatred and for those who use the name of God to kill human beings, the pope added: "The fruits of faith in God are not devastating antagonism, but a spirit of brotherhood and collaboration for the common good. God, Creator and Father of all, will call to account even more severely those who spill their brother's blood in his name."

Benedict XVI invited all to "more intense prayer and penitence, in the sacred time of Lent, so that the Lord may distance the threat of similar conflicts from those dear Nations, and from many other places on earth!"

Pope: God will call to account those who spill "brother's blood" in "his name" (AsiaNews.it 26/2/06)

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27 Feb 2006