Catholic diocese in Nigeria calls for ‘peace and quiet’ after gunmen kill at least 50 churchgoers

  • Unidentified gunmen attacked a Catholic church in Nigeria on Pentecost Sunday.
  • The Catholic diocese said no priests or bishops were abducted, as reported on social media.
  • Christianity and Islam are the two major religions in Nigeria.

The Catholic diocese of Ondo in Nigeria has called for peace in the country after unknown gunmen opened fire on a Catholic church on Pentecost Sunday, leaving many dead.

Pentecost marks the commemoration of the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and other disciples after the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated on the 50th day after Easter Sunday, which is the seventh Sunday after Easter.

In a statement, the Church’s Director of Social Communications, Reverend Father Augustine Ikwu, “at this point in the precious history of our country Nigeria, we need the ultimate intervention of God to restore peace and tranquility”.

Reuters reports that at least 50 people, including women and children, were killed in the attack on St Francis Catholic Church in Owo city.

The motive for the attack is unknown.

In his statement, Ikwu sought to dispel reports on social media that priests and bishops were victims of the attack.

“Meanwhile, all the priests and bishops in the parish are safe, and [nobody] was abducted as the social media have it, “he said.

Nigeria has two major religions, Christianity and Islam. There are occasional clashes between members of these two groups.

The International Crisis Group (ICG) said the Nigerian government’s efforts to stop religious clashes were not enough.

One example cited by the ICG was the January ban on Muslim cleric Sheikh Abduljabbar Nasiru-Kabara preaching. He was accused of blasphemy for remarks made during a televised debate in Kano State.

Religiously affiliated terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and ISIS West Africa often attack population centers and places of worship, including churches and mosques. They also retain the ability to stage forces in rural areas and launch attacks on civilian and military targets in the Northeast, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom states in its latest report.

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and Vice President Oluyemi Oluleke Osinbajo regularly condemn attacks on places of worship and those who try to exploit religious differences.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained therein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

Catholic diocese in Nigeria calls for ‘peace and quiet’ after gunmen kill at least 50 churchgoers

Source link Catholic diocese in Nigeria calls for ‘peace and quiet’ after gunmen kill at least 50 churchgoers

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