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MOSCOW, December 31 (Itar-Tass) — Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia expressed concern about the persecution of Christians in Africa.
Following the latest terrorist acts in Christian churches in Nigeria during the Christmas holidays, the patriarch sent a message to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Murders and persecution of Christians, destruction of churches and the homes of believers have, unfortunately, become systematic lately. These crimes claimed dozens of human lives in Nigeria alone this year,” Kirill said on Saturday, December 31.
In his opinion, “violence against believers aims to foment interreligious strife among people who have for centuries lived side by side in many countries.”
The patriarch expressed condolences to the families of those killed. “I am praying for the ease the lot of all those suffering,” Kirill said.
Give bomb explosions occurred in or near Christian churches in Nigeria on December 25 and other days, claiming 52 lives. About 90,000 people have had to flee the northern part of Nigeria over the past several days, following an increasingly growing number of attacks on Christians there, mainly in the city of Damaturu, one of the many where extremists set Christians churches to fire and blow them up, attack shops and Christians’ homes.