VATICAN CITY (AFP) – The Vatican on Monday voiced its “pain and sense of horror” at two attacks on churches claimed by Islamist group Boko Haram, saying it hoped the government could “confront” the crisis.

“We again express our pain and sense of horror at this regularity that now means that every Sunday places of worships are hit by a series of attacks,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said at a press conference.

The Vatican “hopes that the authorities will be able to confront a situation that appears to be continuing without any improvement,” he said.

Sunday’s attacks against two evangelical churches by a suicide bomber and a group of gunmen left three people dead and wounded dozens more.

Boko Haram’s insurgency has killed more than 1,000 people since 2009.

In an interview  with the Vatican Insider website, the Archbishop of Abuja John Onaiyekan said the state was “absent” and condemned the “daily calvary” faced by Nigerian Christians targeted by Boko Haram.

“The authorities are not defending our faithful. Boko Haram says it wants to put in place sharia law but religion is only a pretext for economic and political interests,” he said, adding this was “not a religious conflict.”


“Nigeria is our home. We will not flee,” he added.