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Vatican calls for release of 200 Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram

2014-05-08

In a short statement, the Vatican spokesperson Federico Lombardi said that the Vatican is joining international appeals to release nearly 200 girls kidnapped in northern Nigeria.

Boko Haram, an extremist group known for their attacks on Churches and civilians, kidnapped the girls from their school three weeks ago, but it has gathered increased attention in the past few days. 

In his remarks, Lombardi condemned the "denial of any respect for life and dignity.” He also expressed the Vatican's compassion for the victims, for their "physical and spiritual suffering” and their "incredible humiliation.”

The statement calls for the girls' to be freed, and for an end to the violent conflict and its "untold suffering.”


FULL TEXT OF VATICAN STATEMENT

The kidnapping of a large number of young girls by terrorists from Boko Haram can be added to the other hideous forms of violence that have long characterized the activity of this group in Nigeria. 

The denial of any respect for life and for the dignity of the people, even the most innocent, vulnerable and defenseless, requires the strongest condemnation and arouses the most heartfelt compassion for the victims, and for the horror of the physical and spiritual suffering and incredible humiliations that are imposed on them. 

We join the many appeals for their release, and their return to a normal condition of life. We hope and pray that Nigeria, through the efforts of all those who can contribute, can find the way to put an end to a situation of conflict and hateful terrorism, the source of untold suffering.


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