The Catholic community in Glasgow has been served by several Nigerian priests in recent years. In his New Year message, Archbishop Mario Conti expressed his support and concern for Christians in Nigeria that suffered violent attacks over Christmas.
Archbishop Conti wrote: "As we rejoiced at Christmas celebrating the Birthday of our Saviour at church and in our homes, secure in the main from any civil or religious disturbance, others were not so fortunate.
"Several incidents of public disorder left apparently innocent people dead in the streets of our cities. Abroad, civil tensions within mainly Muslim countries resulted in the massacre of many civilian protesters – but in Nigeria religiously motivated unrest led to the Christmas Day slaughter of fellow Christians, members of the Diocese of Minna from which in recent years several priests have come to serve in our own Archdiocese.
"Among them Father Thaddeus Umaru who is based at St Mary’s Calton. In 2011 alone, five priests from Minna served here over the summer holidays. From a neighbouring diocese comes Fr Izunna Okonkwo who serves on the staff of St Andrew’s Cathedral and who recently led a group of fellow Nigerian Priests as concelebrants with me at St Roch’s.
"The Archbishop of the Capital, Abuja, Archbishop John Onaiyekan visited us at the beginning of October 2006 to give the Keynote Address at our Assembly on Sacred Scripture. The atrocity happened in a parish which shares a border with his Diocese: he has visited there along with the local Bishop, Martin Igwe Uzoukwu, and the Papal Nuncio in Nigeria, Archbishop Augustine Kasujja, to offer comfort and support to the bereaved and the shocked congregation. We have been in touch to offer the solidarity of our prayers and sympathy."
Archbishop Conti pledged to make a contribution to the Church in Nigeria and called for prayers for peace there.
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