Nigeria: CAFOD condemns church bombing
St Rita's Church in Kaduna, northern Nigeria. [REUTERS/Stringer courtesy of alertnet]
At least seven people have died and dozens have been injured in a car bombing in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, at St. Rita's Catholic Church in the Malali neighbourhood.
A CAFOD spokesperson said: "What extremists of any type want is to divide communities and sow violence, so all people of God must stand together for peace and unity in this time of trouble, sending the message out that the extremists will not be allowed to succeed in dividing Nigeria.
"After decades of violence and exploitation, what the Nigerian people need above all is a sustained commitment to peace, democracy and good government, and we cannot allow today’s events to derail that. Most of all, we know that extremism thrives on hopelessness and despair so we must continue to offer hope, including Western companies maintaining their investment in Nigeria, and using it to create jobs and opportunity for the people."
A long-term partner of CAFOD's in Nigeria, The Archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama, sits on the Interfaith Council. In response to this latest bombing he said:
"These bombings deal a devastating blow to the unity and stability and progress of the country. I must however insist that this is not a religious war. Nigeria needs to be able to cater for the basic needs of all her citizens especially the army of young people. There is no doubt that poverty is a major cause of some of the violent crises in Nigeria.
"Both Christians and Muslims condemn these unjustifiable acts of violence and are cooperating to find solutions. The Catholic Church has maintained that genuine dialogue and reconciliation are very essential ingredients for social co-existence."