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Pope repudiates 'martyr' moniker for suicide bombers

Associated Press logo Associated Press 28/06/2017
Pope Francis sits during his weekly general audience, in St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, June 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) © The Associated Press Pope Francis sits during his weekly general audience, in St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, June 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

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

Francis dedicated his weekly Wednesday catechism lesson to the strength of martyrs, returning once again to an issue he has raised frequently amid Islamic extremist attacks against Christian minorities in the Middle East and elsewhere.

He said: "Christians are repelled by the idea that suicide bombers can be called 'martyrs.' There's nothing in them that can be even close to the attitude of children of God."

Francis has lamented that there are more Christian martyrs today than in the times of the early church. He has demanded Muslim leaders reject committing violence in God's name.

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