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

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.