The Vatican condemned what it called “terrorist” attacks on Christians in Kenya and Nigeria on Sunday which claimed around 20 lives and called for restraint against a cycle of violence.
“The new terrorist attacks in Kenya and Nigeria at Christian celebrations are horrible and despicable acts,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.
“We must be close to victims and communities that suffer just as they are peacefully celebrating a faith that wants love and peace for all,” he said.
“We must encourage the whole population.... not to give in to the temptation to fall into the vicious circle of homicidal hatred,” he added.
Attackers armed with bombs and guns opened fire at church services in a Nigerian university on Sunday, killing around 20 people.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although the attack was similar to others carried out by the Islamist group Boko Haram.
In a separate attack in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, a man set off a grenade during a church service, sowing chaos and killing one worshipper.
Nairobi has been hit by a series of unclaimed blasts since late 2011, which Kenyan officials have blamed on Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shbaab Islamists.