Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has condemned the stoning to death and burning of Deborah Samuel, a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, for alleged blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad on Thursday, last week.
Welby, the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury, in a series of tweets on Wednesday expressed disappointment that to date, people were killing in the name of God.
He appealed to the Nigerian government to take proactive measures and ensure that the religious rights of all citizens are protected.
“I strongly condemn the appalling stoning to death of a Christian woman in Sokoto, Nigeria. This violence is a sin against God. I pray for the family and loved ones of Deborah Samuel, and I continue to pray fervently for the nation of Nigeria,” he explained.
According to him, he has spent much time in northern Nigeria working with others in pursuit of reconciliation and interfaith dialogue, saying that he is profoundly disappointed and grieved that such violence still takes place in God’s name.
Justin Welby expressed gratitude to Nigerian Muslim leaders that have condemned the atrocity and called for renewed efforts by the Nigerian Government to ensure liberty and equality under the law – whether for Christians or Muslims.
Welby is close to President Muhammadu Buhari whom he has visited at least four times.