Christians killed in Africa receive Pope’s prayer

Christians killed in Africa receive Pope’s prayer

Pope Francis called for an end to violence against Christians following deadly attacks in two African countries.

The Pope led pilgrims in prayer for the victims of a deadly shooting last week at St Philip’s Catholic Church in Ozubulu, in Nigeria. He also prayed for Christians killed following an attack at a mission in Gambo, Central African Republic (CAR).

“I hope that all forms of hatred and violence cease and that such shameful crimes are no longer committed in places of worship where the faithful gather to pray,” the Pope told said.

At least 11 people were reportedly killed and 18 others wounded as they attempted to flee the carnage in Ozubulu in a suspected drug deal gone wrong. Nigeria’s bishops described the incident as a “horrendous and callous killing of innocent worshippers”.

In CAR there have been violent clashes between the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels and the mostly Christian anti-Balaka militia.

Spanish-born Bishop Juan-Jose Aguirre Munoz of Bangassou detailed the horrors that occurred at the Gambo mission. “Several men and children have been beheaded. Everything is restless here,” he said.

Bishop Aguirre said that UN peacekeepers expelled the anti-Balaka from the mission, but “the Seleka returned and cut about a dozen throats”.