When is the press going to stop calling these people ‘radical’ or ‘extremist’? The issue is that they are Muslim and that is why they are doing this.
The Pope has denounced Christmas Day violence telling worshippers that ‘once again the earth is stained by blood’ as he made his Angelus address at the Vatican.
By Aislinn Laing, Johannesburg 5:21PM GMT 26 Dec 2010
At least 38 people were killed in Nigeria and six wounded in the Philippines over the festive period in attacks targeting churches and Christmas shoppers.
Pope Benedict XVI, told pilgrims and tourists in St Peter’s Square that he was saddened by the attacks on Christians and a suicide bomb attack in Peshawar, Pakistan which claimed 40 lives.
“I want to express my heartfelt sorrow for the victims of these absurd acts of violence and repeat an appeal to abandon the path of hate and seek instead peaceful solutions to conflicts, ” he said.
“The earth is once again stained with blood as we have seen in other parts of the world.”
A week ago, he said Christians are now the world’s most persecuted religious group and lamented that some had to risk their lives to practise their faith.
25 Dec 2010
26 Dec 2010
26 Dec 2010
26 Dec 2010
In one of two Christmas Eve attacks on churches in northern Nigeria, dozens of armed men dragged a pastor of out his home in the city of Maiduguri and shot him dead. Two male choir members rehearsing for a late-night carol service were also killed, along with two people passing the Victory Baptist Church, which was then set alight.
Danjuma Akawu, the church’s secretary, escaped by climbing over the fence.
“I cannot understand these attacks,” he said. “Why Christians? The police have failed to protect us.”
At the Church of Christ in Nigeria at the opposite end of Maiduguri, Rev Haskanda Jessu said three men attacked around an hour later, killing a 60-year-old security guard.
The attacks have been blamed on the radical Muslim sect Boko Haram, which has its headquarters in Maiduguri.
In Jos, central Nigeria, two bombs went off near a large market where people were doing last-minute Christmas shopping. A third hit a mainly Christian area of the city, while the fourth went off near the city’s main mosque.
Nigeria is almost evenly split between Muslims in the north and the predominantly Christian south. Religious violence has already left more than 500 people dead this year in Jos alone.
On Christmas Day on the southern Philippine island of Jolo – a known hotbed of Islamic extremism – six people were wounded when a bomb went off in a church during mass.