The Catholic Church leaders say that it is “most disheartening and contradictory that when we celebrate a model of unity of humanity where: nations could talk and hear each other in their own language, we are facing a situation where one group chooses to eliminate and kill.”
They implore in reference to the Pentecost Sunday attack that involved gunmen who fired at the Catholic worshippers and detonated explosives resulting in the death of dozens, “May the blood of those who died celebrating the unity of humanity on Pentecost day serve as an impetus for peace and may their Souls Rest in Peace.”
“The Church in Southern Africa and the Church in Nigeria are one body in Christ,” SACBC members say, and, quoting the Gospel of St. Matthew, condole with those directly affected by the June 5 church massacre as they “weep and greatly mourn because your innocent brothers and sisters are no more.”
In their June 6 statement, SACBC members regret the fact that the June 5 attack on Catholic worships and other crimes targeting the people of God are not unique to Nigeria “but are prevalent in many African countries.”
“What is concerning is the failure of the media and other stakeholders to dig deeper into the causes of these murderous conflicts so that they can be dealt with for what they are,” SACBC members say.
They call upon the leadership of Nigeria and those responsible for killings in Africa’s most populous nation “to deal with conflict issues and work for peace.”
Sheila Pires is a veteran radio and television Mozambican journalist based in South Africa. She studied communications at the University of South Africa. She is passionate about writing on the works of the Church through Catholic journalism.
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