The attacks on Paris last Friday carried out by three teams of Daesh (IS) terrorists, claimed the lives of 129 people and left more than 350 injured, many of them critically.
The Paris attacks came just a day after a series of Daesh suicide bombs rocked Beirut, Lebanon – causing nearly 50 deaths and injuring 250.
Before the Angelus last Sunday, his holiness Pope Francis spoke to the faithful in St Peter’s Square:
“Dear brothers and sisters,
I wish to express my deep sorrow for the terrorist attacks that late on Friday covered France with blood, causing many casualties. To the President of France and all of its citizens, I express my brotherly condolences. I feel particularly close to the families of those who lost their lives and the wounded.
Such barbarity leaves us stunned and makes us question how the human heart could come up with, and carry out, such horrific acts, which have shattered not only France, but the whole world. Faced with such acts, one cannot but condemn the unspeakable attack on the dignity of the human person. I want to vigorously reaffirm that the path of violence and hate does not resolve the problems of humanity. And that to use the name of God to justify this path is blasphemy.” The attacks of last week are just another in the long list of atrocities inflicted by the Islamist militants – Daesh’s campaign of violence has had a devastating impact on Christians in the Middle East.
Over the past two years Daesh has taken control of many areas of Iraq and Syria, leading to the forced eviction of thousands of Christians from their homes.