WCC condemns attacks during violent week

Photo: Albin Hillert/World Council of Churches

25 April 2018

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit condemned attacks across the world that have occurred during a violent week during which many have lost their lives or lost their loved ones.

On 22 April, in Kabul, Afghanistan, a suicide bomber killed at least 60 people and wounded more than 120, including children, as they stood in line outside a Kabul voter-registration office.

The next day, an attack occurred in Toronto, Canada, when a man steered a van down a crowded street, killing 10 people and leaving 15 others injured. He allegedly drove for nearly a mile on 23 April, sometimes veering onto the sidewalk as he plowed a path of destruction.

On 24 April, church and government officials in Nigeria confirmed two Catholic priests, Fathers Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha, were among at least 15 people killed when Fulani herdsmen attacked St Ignatius Catholic Church in Ayar-Mbalom, a community in Benue state. The attack occurred as people gathered for an early morning mass.

“Across the world, people who were living their daily lives – standing in line to register to vote, innocently walking in places that should be safe, attending worship – have been lost to their families and their communities,”said Tveit. “We condemn these senseless acts of violence. Let us strengthen our resolution to pursue peace and justice for all, dignity for all, the freedom to lead full lives for all.”

Tveit and the WCC fellowship held those who lost loved ones in prayer, and called for ecumenical solidarity in the face of such attacks.

“We mourn for the families of the victims, and for the cities and communities that lost so much so quickly,”he said.