NCC Condemns Attack on Worshipers in Nigeria

The National Council of Churches (NCC) has condemned the Christmas Day bombing of a Roman Catholic Church in Madella, Nigeria, as “intrinsically evil.” Incoming NCC president Kathryn Mary Lohre joined Pope Benedict XVI and other religious leaders in denouncing the terrorist acts that claimed the lives of 39 people and injured hundreds.

“The National Council of Churches deplores any attack on Christian communities anywhere in the world,” Lohre said. “But more than that, we condemn any violent act so contrary to the common understanding of God’s love as it is expressed among Christians, Muslims, and persons of all the major faith traditions.”

Lohre called on the council’s member communions “and all persons of good will to pray for the families in Madella who have lost loved ones, and to ask God’s healing mercies for all who have been touched by this tragedy.”

Pope Benedict termed the attacks as “absurd.” “Violence is a path that leads only to pain, destruction, and death,” Benedict said. “Respect, reconciliation, and love are the only path to peace.”

Responsibility for the attack was claimed by an Islamist extremist group Boko Haram.

— Philip E. Jenks of the NCC communications staff provided this release. As of today, no word has been received that congregations or members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN–the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) were affected by the attacks on Christmas Day in the capital city of Abuja and the city of Jos in central Nigeria.

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