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Archbishop, Muslim leader condemn violence in Nigeria

Catholic World News - January 25, 2010

As violence spreads from the north-central Nigerian city of Jos to surrounding villages, a group of Christians and Muslims, led by Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja and Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar III, president of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, have condemned the violence and urged authorities to arrest the perpetrators.

“Settling any kind of grievances through violence and bloodshed is ungodly. Rather than solve problems of misunderstanding in any society, violence and bloodshed only compounds them,” they said. “In the name of the religious communities that we represent, we vigorously condemn the new wave of violence that has once again erupted in and around the city of Jos in recent days.”

“We commit all those who have been killed to the mercy of God. We offer our sincere condolences to all the bereaved. At the same time, we fully support and reinforce the passionate appeal of the Inter-religious Committee of Plateau State, issued in the very heat of the events, calling on all to eschew violence, seek peace and work for it.”

The Catholic and Muslim leaders appealed to the “government and the various security agencies to remain vigilant not only to prevent a spread of the crisis to other parts of the country, but to also fish out and deal with not only the material perpetrators of violence but those who recruit, arm and support them.”

15% of Nigeria’s 142.5 million people are Catholic, 25% are Protestant, and 50% are Muslim.

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