Politics

Pope Francis Deplores Massacre of Christians by Jihadists in Burkina Faso

ROME — Pope Francis has sent a telegram to the victims of Sunday’s slaughter of 15 Christians during worship services in Burkina Faso, expressing his sorrow over the assault.

“With deep sorrow Pope Francis has learned of the tragic terrorist attack that took place in a Catholic church in Essakane on February 25, 2024 and the loss of life it caused,” reads the telegram, which was signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

“He joins in the mourning of the families while assuring them of his closeness and grief,” it states.

The jihadists opened fire during morning Mass in the Essakane village church in the country’s northeast Oudalan province, killing 12 of the victims instantly, while three others later succumbed to their gunshot wounds.

“At this painful time, we invite you to pray for those who have died in the Faith, that they may rest in the Lord, for the healing of the wounded and for the consolation of those who are grieving,” said the Vicar General of the diocese, Father Jean-Pierre Sawadogo.

Gunmen attacked Catholic worshippers gathered for Sunday service at the church in Essakane village and a group of gunmen opened fire during morning prayers at a mosque in Natiaboani town, killing several worshippers. (Elmurod Usubaliev/Anadolu via Getty Images)

In his telegram, the pope also expressed his sadness to the Muslim community in Burkina Faso over a Islamist attack perpetrated against a mosque in the village of Natiaboani on the same day, offering his prayers for the eternal repose of the victims.

The assailants, who arrived on motorbikes, were reportly members of Al-Qaeda’s Sahel branch who also targeted soldiers and a self-defense militia stationed locally that same day.

“Recalling that hatred is not the solution to conflicts, the pope invites respect for sacred places and a fight against violence for the sake of promoting the value of peace,” the text reads.

Pope Francis has insisted that all religions pursue peace and that Muslim terrorism “does not exist.”

“There are fundamentalist and violent individuals in all peoples and religions—and with intolerant generalizations they become stronger because they feed on hate and xenophobia,” he said.

Thomas D. Williams is Breitbart Rome Bureau Chief and author of The Coming Christian Persecution.

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