Nigeria, ACS: “Children among the victims of the attack in the church, no priests kidnapped”

Over 50 people, including children, died in the attack on the Catholic church of St. Francis Xavier in Owo, Ondo State, in southwestern Nigeria, during the celebrations of the solemnity of Pentecost yesterday 5 June. This was reported by Aid to the Church in Need (ACS), which said it was “deeply shocked” by the massacre, and joined in prayer for the victims, the wounded, their families and the entire Catholic community of Ondo. “It is Pentecost Sunday, the time when every Catholic should be in church to commemorate the solemnity. It is so sad to say that, while the Holy Mass was being held, men of unknown origin, armed with guns, attacked the Catholic church of St. Francis Xavier – said in a note sent to ACS don Augustine Ikwu, director of communications of the diocese of Ondo – The identity of the authors remains unknown. The event devastated the community. All the priests of the parish are safe and none he was kidnapped “, assures Don Ikwu, demonstrating the groundlessness of some rumors circulated on social networks. “The bishop appeals to us to remain calm, respect the law and pray for peace and normality to return to our community, state and country”, he concludes. ACS stigmatizes “this further manifestation of violence, yet another terrorist act against Christians in Nigerian territory. Delinquency and kidnappings, while affecting all the ethnic and religious groups of the nation, in recent decades have mainly concerned the Christian community, affected by serious and repeated attacks “, denounces the pontifical foundation. And he appeals to “all political and religious leaders in the world to strongly and explicitly condemn this umpteenth, barbaric terrorist attack, and asks local authorities to commit themselves to guaranteeing public security, especially that of vulnerable and defenseless Christian communities”.

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