Pope Francis on Wednesday urged an end to “every form of hatred and violence”, especially attacks on places of worship, calling them “such shameful crimes”.
“I hope that all forms of hatred and violence cease,” Francis told pilgrims at the end of his weekly general audience in at the Vatican.
“And may such shameful crimes not be repeated, especially those perpetrated in places of worship, where the faithful gather to pray.”
The Pope reiterated his “profound sadness” at the attack on a Catholic church in southern Nigeria on Sunday that left 13 people dead and injured 26.
“I remain deeply saddened by the massacre, which took place last Sunday in Nigeria inside a church, where innocent people were killed,” he said.
The pontiff also deplored an attack reported on Tuesday in the Central African Republic, where Muslim militias killed 50 people, according to the bishop of Bangassou diocese, Juan Jose Aguirre.
“Unfortunately, news has arrived this morning of violent homicides in the Central African Republic against the Christian community,” Francis said.
He called on pilgrims to think of “our brothers and sisters in Nigeria and in the Central African Republic” and to pray for them.