With Mass, tears, prayers, Nigerians bury victims of Christmas bombing
Published: February 2, 2012
MADALLA, Nigeria (CNS) -- Officials of the Archdiocese of Abuja celebrated Mass for 18 victims of the Christmas bombings at St. Theresa Catholic Church, then buried the remains within the church grounds. Abuja Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan told about 2,000 people gathered at the church Feb. 1 that "those who killed others, either in the name of their faith or ideology, are murderers." He called on Christians in Nigeria, St. Theresa parishioners and those who lost loved ones in the bomb blasts to forgive those who ordered the killings and to not consider revenge. The Islamist group Boko Haram took credit for a series of Christmas attacks, in which more than 40 people were killed. Families, sympathizers, mourners and relatives of the deceased shed tears during the Mass when they saw the victims' coffins inside the church. "Beyond forgiveness, let us pray for the conversion of those who have allowed themselves to be used by the devil to perpetrate such a diabolic act, targeting and killing innocent men, women and children," Archbishop Onaiyekan said. He asked for constant prayers for those in charge of security of Nigeria, that they "will have the wisdom to know how best to tackle the problem on our hands and the courage to do what needs to be done.
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