Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis, identifies Peaceful Coexistence as Solution to Religious Crisis in Nigeria

Pope Francis
In a special message to mark the celebration of the World Day of Peace, Pope Francis stated that peaceful coexistence is the only solution to the crisis in some parts of Nigeria.

The Catholic Pontiff's message was read by by the Archbishop, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Most Rev Adewale Martins, at the Holy Cross Catholic Church, Lagos. 

Some northern states, notably Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States have been under attack by the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, leading to the killing of thousands of persons and resulting in the declaration of a state of emergency by President Goodluck Jonathan in May last year.

"It is easy to realise that fraternity is the foundation and pathway of peace. When we have the value of fraternity, a feeling of brotherhood, love and care for one another, many of our problems would not be there.

"Our fraternity is based on the fact that we are all made in the likeness and image of God. Our brotherhood is not based on any factor other than that we are all children of one God.

"What is to be done is to get back to the roots to identify ourselves and recognise and deal with ourselves as brothers and sisters that we are. It will go a long way to bring peace back into the world," he said.

He attributed the situation to the inability of genuine relationships among the people and lack of solid family and community relationships.

"We are concerned by the various types of hardship, marginalisation, isolation and various forms of pathological dependencies which are currently on the increase.

"This kind of problems can be overcome only through the rediscovery and valuing of fraternal relationships in the heart of families and communities.

"Also in the sharing of joys and sorrows of the hardships and triumphs that are a part of human life," he said. In his own New Year message, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, also charged Nigerian politicians to be mindful of their choice of words to avoid overheating the polity.

According to him, the use of words like "capture" in the political lexicon, would in no small measure contribute to over heating the polity Onaiyekan gave the charge when he fielded questions from newsmen yesterday after the New Year Service at the Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral in Abuja.

Source: This Day

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