Dozens are believed to be dead and many more are being treated for injuries after gunmen opened fire and detonated explosives at the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in the town of Owo, southwestern Nigeria during mass on Pentecost Sunday. According to news reports, the death toll exceeds over 50 worshippers, including children.
In response to the attack, the Board issued the following statement:
“The multireligious Board of Directors of the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) unequivocally condemns this terrible massacre, perpetrated against worshippers in the context of an important Christian religious celebration, with victims directly targeted in a church, a place which should be welcoming and safe for all. We call on the authorities to protect those seeking to live their faiths in peace and to foster mutual respect of all religions.
We extend our deep sympathies to loved ones of the victims and we pray for the injured and for the deceased. We stand with Nigerians in these challenging times and we call on people from all religious backgrounds to join dialogue efforts towards reconciliation and peace.”