The Archbishop of Canterbury, Ron Williams, has condoled with the Federal Government and the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion on the spate of attacks on Churches in Nigeria in recent times.
Mr. Williams, who was represented by an emissary, the Bishop of Durham, Justin Welby, said in a letter on Tuesday in Abuja that “the Church of UK condoles, encourages and supports the Nigerian Church in this trying period.”
The letter, addressed to Nicolas Okoh, the Primate of the Anglican Church in Nigeria and Archbishop of Abuja, condemned the activities of the Islamic extremists who had continued to attack the churches in Nigeria.
“The Archbishop of Canterbury has been praying as we all have been daily and with much concern for you.
“This is his letter of support, condolence and encouragement in the light of the great struggles that you are facing in the country at the moment and particularly Christians,” he said.
The bishop condemned the terrorist attacks being visited on Christians by the extremist Islamic group, Boko Haram, saying that there was need for peace in the country.
Mr. Welby expressed optimism that Nigeria possessed the potential to be not just one of Africa’s leaders but one of the world’s greatest leaders.
According to him, Nigeria is founded on the faith, power and passion of the churches and that is why the churches are the targets for terrorist attacks.
“It is a country founded in faith, passion and power of its churches as one of its greatest strengths,” he said.
The bishop, however, assured Nigerians of his continuous prayers for the spiritual growth and strength of the Anglican Church.
The Nigerian Primate thanked Mr. Welby for the efforts he made to come to Nigeria to condole with, support and show concern for Christians.
“We owe you a lot of gratitude for this show of Christian love and solidarity at a time when things are not very easy for us in the country,” he said.
Mr. Okoh noted that the issue of insecurity in the country had been on for a long time but had recently been enhanced by the Boko Haram bombings.
“I must say that the issue of security has being there all along but in recent times, has been orchestrated by the Boko Haram bombings,” he said.
He described the situation as “a serious challenge” to the authorities of the country and pleaded with the government to find a lasting solution to the problem.
The bishop further said that Nigerians were not ready for any form of strife along religious lines, stressing that both Christians and Muslims would love to live together in peace.
Mr. Okoh said that the churches would continue to preach peace, instead of resorting to violence