The death of Andrea Santora, the Pastor of the Santa Maria Catholic Church in Trabzon, as a result of a gunmans attack on 5th February 2006, has created a deep grief and concern among religious people and in the whole Turkish community.
We strongly condemn the murder committed to a reverend in his sanctuary regardless of his religious belief. There can not be any religious, philosophical or humanistic justification for this brutal killing that we regard as a crime against humanity.
The immunity of religious persons and places, even in the worst situations, is an Islamic principle which was entrusted to all Muslims by the Prophet of Islam. No one has the right or authority to violate this universal principle, to destroy the atmosphere of peace and tranquility which was established with great efforts, and to overshadow the experience of coexistence in peace which has been practiced in Turkey for centuries.
We condemn the hateful attack once again and express our condolences to family of the victim, to his friends, to the members of Catholic Church and to whole humanity.
Presidency of Religious Affairs