2011-12-28 Vatican RadioA Christian family was killed in a machete attack in Nigeria today, the latest incident in an outbreak of violence that began with bomb attacks against several Catholic churches on Christmas Day. Although there is no indication that the latest killings were tied to Sunday’s bombings, many people fear the attacks could provoke reprisals that would lead to widespread sectarian violence. So far, however, there has been no violent backlash from Christian communities.
The Apostolic Nuncio in Nigeria, Archbishop Augustine Kasujja said Catholics in the area are responding to the Pope’s call for peace. “The message of the Holy Father is to call down these feelings of reacting with violence.” He spoke of his own experience. “When I travelled to the place on the feast of St. Stephen… to say Mass for the victims, we found that that attitude of violence was calming down.”
The militant Islamist group Boko Haram, which aims to impose sharia
Islamic law across Nigeria, claimed responsibility for the blasts, the second Christmas in a row it has caused carnage. Catholic leaders were quick to point out that the terrorist actions of Boko Haram were not sanctioned by the wider Muslim community in Nigeria, but called on Islamic leaders to denounce the attacks on innocent people, and do what they can to put an end to the violence.