WCC condemns Niger attacks on churches and communities

By agency reporter
January 23, 2015

Attacks in Niger, resulting in the destruction of more than 70 churches and the killing of an undetermined number of people, have been strongly condemned by the World Council of Churches (WCC).

These events have come as repercussions following the recent Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris and the 'Je suis Charlie' campaign in support of the controversial French weekly publication.

An official WCC statement issued on 22 January 2015 reads: “The WCC is grateful for the strong condemnation by the government of Niger of these attacks. President Mahamadou Issoufou denounced the anti-Christian violence, addressing his fellow citizens in these words, ‘What have the Christians of Niger done to deserve this? Where have they wronged you?’”

The statement also notes that Niger is a “predominantly Muslim country but one with a reputation of relative tolerance towards its Christian minority”, also stating that “over the past few years there has been a growing campaign of radicalisation.”

The WCC also showed appreciation for remarks made on a BBC radio broadcast by the Christian pastor Sani Nomao, “I call on every single believer in Niger to forgive and forget, to love Muslims with all their heart, to keep up the faith, to love Christ like never before.”

* WCC: http://www.oikoumene.org/

* More from Ekklesia on the aftermath of the Paris killings and Charlie Hebdo: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/charliehebdo

[Ekk/4]

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