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Pope Francis Slams Boko Haram | Prays for Nigeria

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Pope Francis has condemned Boko Haram for its violent attacks against Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, and prayed for the country.

In a letter titled Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Bishops of Nigeria, posted on the Vatican website, he stated:

Dear Brother Bishops,

While we walk this Lenten journey towards the Resurrection of the Lord united with the whole Church, I wish to extend to you, dear Archbishops and Bishops of Nigeria, a fraternal greeting, which I extend to the beloved Christian communities entrusted to your pastoral care. I would also like to share some thoughts with you on the current situation in your country.

Nigeria, known as the “African giant”, with its more than 160 million inhabitants, is set to play a primary role, not only in Africa but in the world at large. In recent years, it has experienced robust growth in the economic sphere and has again reasserted itself on the world stage as an attractive market, on account of its natural resources as well as its commercial potential. It is now considered officially the single largest African economy. It has also distinguished itself as a political player widely committed to the resolution of crisis situations in the continent.

At the same time, your nation has had to confront considerable problems, among them new and violent forms of extremism and fundamentalism on ethnic, social and religious grounds. Many Nigerians have been killed, wounded or mutilated, kidnapped and deprived of everything: their loved ones, their land, their means of subsistence, their dignity and their rights. Many have not been able to return to their homes. Believers, both Christian and Muslim, have experienced a common tragic outcome, at the hands of people who claim to be religious, but who instead abuse religion, to make of it an ideology for their own distorted interests of exploitation and murder.

I would like to assure you and all who suffer of my closeness. Every day I remember you in my prayers and I repeat here, for your encouragement and comfort, the consoling words of the Lord Jesus, which must always resound in our hearts: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (Jn 14:27).

Peace – as you know so well – is not only the absence of conflict or the result of political compromise or fatalistic resignation. Peace is for us a gift which comes from on high; it is Jesus Christ himself, the Prince of Peace, who has made of two peoples one (cf. Eph 2:14). And only the man or woman who treasures the peace of Christ as a guiding light and way of life can become a peacemaker (cf. Mt 5:9).

At the same time, peace is a daily endeavour, a courageous and authentic effort to favour reconciliation, to promote experiences of sharing, to extend bridges of dialogue, to serve the weakest and the excluded. In a word, peace consists in building up a “culture of encounter”.

And so I wish here to express my heartfelt thanks to you, because in the midst of so many trials and sufferings the Church in Nigeria does not cease to witness to hospitality, mercy and forgiveness. How can we fail to remember the priests, religious men and women, missionaries and catechists who, despite untold sacrifices, never abandoned their flock, but remained at their service as good and faithful heralds of the Gospel? To them, most particularly, I would like to express my solidarity, and to say: do not grow tired of doing what is right!

Read the entire letter on the Vatican website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

4 Comments

  1. aurora

    March 19, 2015 at 8:51 am

    This is awesome!
    God bless you Pope Francis
    I pray that the peace of Christ never departs from Nigeria
    it is well with us

  2. Splendid

    March 19, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Amen to that. The peace of Lord will never depart from Nigeria. Thank you His Holiness.

  3. dora

    March 19, 2015 at 9:32 am

    thanks your holiness for your fatherly concern and love. i am sure your prayers are already working for Nigerians and will continue to work for ever Amen
    may God continue to protect and guide you. Amen

  4. Peppy

    March 19, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Amen!!!!!!!!!!!

    PS: Some of the speech should be extracted and given to Goodluck and Patience as Manifesto list and teach them how to use it and build back hope, trust, tranquility, sanity in citizens’ mind again. Not ranting under hot, harsh, UVB that””” THEY ARE NOT GOOD, MY HUSBAND IS THE BEST, MY HUSBAND HAD NO SHOE BUT CURRENTLY WEARS TOM FORD, THEY WANT TO TAKE OUR BIRTH RIGHT LIKE SAY WE DEY PRACTICE MONARCHY, THEY ARE NOT GRADUATE YET, THEY HAVE F9, THEY ISLAMISED NAIJA BACK IN WHEN I DONT KNOW. Bunch of empty vessels ruling Naija.

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