Pope Francis: Suicide bombers are not 'martyrs'

The pontiff says true martyrs do not harm others as he addresses frequent attacks against Christian minorities.

    Pope Francis: Suicide bombers are not 'martyrs'
    Pope has demanded Muslim leaders reject committing violence in God's name [Vincenzo Pinto/AFP]

    Pope Francis has repudiated the idea that suicide bombers can be considered "martyrs", saying true martyrs do not harm others but rather are meek, honest and persecuted for their faith as true children of God.

    "Christians are repelled by the idea that suicide bombers can be called 'martyrs'. They are not martyrs. There's nothing in them that can be even close to the attitude of children of God," he said on Wednesday during his weekly catechism lesson in the Vatican.

    Thousands of displaced Iraqi Christians afraid to return

    The pontiff has frequently raised the issue amid attacks against Christian minorities in the Middle East and elsewhere.

    Francis has lamented that there are more Christian martyrs today than in the times of the early church.

    The latest attack against Christians took place in Egypt's Tanta and Alexandria cities in April when two churches were blown up, killing at least 45 people.

    The responsibility for the attacks against the country's Coptic Christians were claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

    ISIL also said it was behind a Cairo church bombing in December that killed 29 people.

    Has Egypt failed to protect its Christian minority? - Inside Story

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.