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Attacks against Christians – These massacres must stop, says Terzi; we must defend freedom of religion

Italy is taking forward its battle in defence of freedom of religion, which is once against under threat from attacks against the Christian community. The attacks in Nigeria and Kenya on Sunday 29 April left over 20 worshippers dead and numerous injured. “These atrocious and barbaric massacres must stop. Defending freedom of religion is an absolute priority for Italy”, said Minister Terzi.

“I am horrified by news of the barbaric killing of members of the Christian minority in these two African countries. I condemn this atrocious massacre utterly and wish to express my profound condolences for the victims”, declared the Minister. Terzi underscored the need for “a growing commitment by the international community”.

In the principal international fora, and especially at European Union level, Italy has been advocating political initiatives to foster tolerance. On Monday 23 April, in Jakarta, he co-chaired an international conference on inter-faith dialogue with his Indonesian colleague, Marti Natalegawa. Terzi reiterated that Italy considers freedom of religion and belief to be an “absolute priority” and intends to promote, in bilateral and multilateral fora, constant and on-going activity by the international community “against any form of discrimination, restriction or violence against religious minorities”.

The attacks in Kenya and Nigeria on Sunday 29 April are the latest episodes in a growing wave of religious discrimination and intolerance against Christians and their places of worship in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

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