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Solidarity message to the churches in Nigeria

Solidarity message to WCC member churches in Nigeria following the massacres that took place in three villages close to the city of Jos during the weekend of 6-7 March 2010.

12 March 2010

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

It is with profound sadness that we received the news of the massacres that took place in three villages close to the city of Jos during the past weekend. Together with you, we condemn and deplore such barbaric acts of violence. It is tragic that the people of Nigeria are continuously affected by deadly violence and that innocent people are becoming victims of these conflicts. 

I take this opportunity to extend our sincere condolences to the families of all those who have been killed and express our sympathy to all those who are suffering from the after effects of these traumatic experiences. We shall continue to pray for peace and reconciliation among the people and communities of your troubled region.

It is heartening that Nigerian Church leaders have taken several initiatives together with other religious leaders to promote peace and reconciliation in conflict-affected areas. In fact, I appreciate your initiatives as it is essential for us to demonstrate our faith and witness, to be ambassadors for peace and reconciliation in the true spirit of  love for our neighbours, irrespective of their religious or ethnic identities.  

I have written a letter of concern to His Excellency Mr Goodluck Jonathan, acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In my letter, I urged him to bring to justice the perpetrators of these massacres; to ensure security and peace with justice for all Nigerians and to preserve human rights, justice and equity for every individual in your country.

As you know that we are reminded of our call to seek justice and righteousness and it is imperative for strengthening our faith.  This call also warrants our attention and need to be concerned of all those who are deprived of their inherent and inalienable rights and dignity, fullness of life and equal justice.  

May God Almighty continue to strengthen you to "seek peace and pursue it" (Psalm 34:14).  

Yours in Christ's love,  

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary