(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has appealed for peace and reconciliation in Niger.
Speaking on Wednesday at the weekly General Audience, the Pope explicitly referred to brutalities perpetrated against Christians, children and Churches.
He invited those present to join him in praying for the victims of recent violence in Niger.
Let us invoke the Lord – he said – for the gift of reconciliation and peace, may “religious sentiment never give rise to violence, oppression and destruction”.
“War must not be waged in the name of God” he said.
Pope Francis concluded his appeal expressing his hope that in the West African nation a climate of reciprocal respect and peaceful cohabitation be re-established as soon as possible for the good of all.
Last week, in Niger’s capital Niamey and in the town of Zinder, at least 15 people were killed in two days of violent protests against the publication in France of a satirical magazine depicting Islam’s prophet.
Over a dozen Christian Churches and other buildings were set ablaze.
Security forces have been using tear gas to disperse hundreds of opposition supporters taking part in banned demonstrations in the capital.
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