Pope condemns religious violence

 Pope Benedict XVI has strongly condemned recent violence against churches and mosques in Iraq and Nigeria. Addressing crowds in St Peter's Square after the Angelus, yesterday, the Holy Father spoke about the destruction of the golden dome in Samarra, and violence elsewhere in Iraq between Sunnis and Shi'ites. He said the attacks lead to mourning, fed hatred and were seriously obstacles to the already difficult work of reconstruction in the country. The Pope also condemned the destruction of churches and mosques in Nigeria, where clashes between Christians and Muslims recently have left many dead. He said: "I express firm condemnation for the violence in places of worship, I entrust all the dead and those who mourn them to the Lord." He added: "The fruits of faith in God are not devastating antagonism, but a spirit of brotherhood and collaboration for the common good. God, Creator and Father of all, will call to account even more severely those who spill their brother's blood in his name." Benedict XVI called all to "more intense prayer and penitence, in the sacred time of Lent, so that the Lord may distance the threat of similar conflicts from those dear nations, and from many other places on earth!" Source: AN/VIS

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