Archbishop of Jos: Religious leaders must bring down tension in Nigeria

2012-03-12 Vatican Radio

In Nigeria, a suicide car bomber attacked a Catholic church in the city of Jos last night in the middle of Mass, killing at least 10 people.

Jos and surrounding Plateau state have been torn apart in recent years by violence, and has been targeted by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram.

“The situation is bound to escalate, and then suspicion is bound to escalate,” said the Archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama. “The young people become very angry and very restless. Yesterday it took our intervention to calm them down, because they kept saying ‘enough is enough. We have been attacked again and again when we have nothing wrong.’”

He said religious leaders must step up and preach peace.

“There is definitely tension, and I see that it is our duty as religious leaders to work hard to bring down the tension, even though out of sentiment and out of anger many people are saying ‘enough is enough we must do something’, our message is consistently that of the Gospel,” he told Vatican Radio.

“The effort to overcome evil with love, overcome evil with good, and then to allow God to take control of the situation, while at the same time asking God’s men to something urgently to bring this to a final conclusion.”

Listen to the full interview by Alessandro Gisotti with Archbishop Kaigama: