Benedict XVI Encourages Generosity for Turkey

Appeals for Peace in Nigeria

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 10, 2010 ( Benedict XVI today remembered the victims of Monday’s earthquake in Turkey, requesting that the international community be generous in the aid effort.

The magnitude 6 quake struck the eastern part of Turkey before dawn Monday, killing 51 people.

«I am profoundly close to the persons hit by the recent earthquake in Turkey and their families,» the Pope assured at the end of the general audience. «I assure each one of my prayers, while I ask the international community to contribute rescue services with promptness and generosity.»

The Holy Father also expressed his sympathy for the victims of a killing spree near the city of Jos, Nigeria, in which at least 200 people, most of them Christians, have been murdered.

«My deep sympathy also goes to the victims of the atrocious violence that bloodies Nigeria and that has not spared even defenseless children,» he said. «Once again I repeat with a heartbroken spirit that violence does not resolve conflicts, but only increases the tragic consequences.

«I appeal to all those who have civil and religious responsibility in the country, to do their utmost for the security and peaceful coexistence of all the population.

«I express, finally, my closeness to Nigerian pastors and faithful and I pray that, strong and firm in hope, they will be authentic witnesses of reconciliation.»

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