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Christian attacks shameful

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(source: Voice of the Cape fm Online)

The Gauteng-based advocacy group, the Media Review Network (MRN) has roundly condemns attacks directed at Christian communities in Nigeria, Iraq and Egypt this weekend. On Christmas Eve, three bombs exploded in the central Nigerian city of Jos, killing dozens of people. That area has seen more than 500 people die in religious and ethnic violence this year alone. Members of a radical Muslim sect, known locally as Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for the bombings and attacks on two churches in the northern city of Maiduguri the same night, killing at least six people.

In Egypt, a suicide bomber killed 21 people and wounded 79 outside a Coptic church on Saturday, in an attack President Hosni Mubarak said was the work of “foreign hands.” There was no immediate claim but Al-Qaeda has called for punishment of Egypt’s Copts over claims that two priests’ wives they say had converted to Islam were being held by the Church against their will.

And in Iraq on Friday, at least two people have been killed and 18 others wounded in a series of bomb attacks against the homes of minority Christians in different parts of Baghdad, police and interior ministry officials said on Thursday. Assailants in southwestern Baghdad threw two grenades inside the home of a Christian family, leaving two people fatally wounded and injuring five more. In a different neighbourhood, attackers planted a bomb near a Christian home. Two people were injured in that attack. Then another bomb planted near a Christian house in western Baghdad exploded, wounding one member of the family as well as a civilian.

“This shameful conduct and the horror associated with such misguided brutality cannot be condoned. The sheer senselessness of these bombings and the toll it takes on lives and limbs of innocent people, is utterly unacceptable. That such barbarity result in provoking counter-threats of violence against Muslims, undermines inter-faith harmony.”

According to MRN, victims of unjust wars and occupation of the type led by the American government and its western allies include persons from both faith groups – Islam and Christianity. “It therefore makes no sense that such victims who face enormous socio-political challenges within their respective countries, would turn on each other. Thus we urge for calm & call on the global community of both faiths to deny faceless agents of anarchy any opportunity to bedevil mutual harmony,” MRN said.