Vatican criticises Charlie Hebdo anniversary cover's depiction of God

Twelve people were killed at the magazine's office in January 2015

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The Independent Online

The front cover of the Charlie Hebdo edition marking a year since it was attacked by terrorists has been criticised by the Vatican - because it offends all faiths.

The cover has an illustration appearing to depict God as a terrorist carrying a gun.

The headline of the magazine, due to be released on Wednesday, reads: “One year one: The murderer is still out there.”

On 7 January 2015, gunmen Cherif and Said Kouachi killed 12 people at the satirical magazine’s office in Paris.

Four people were also killed at a Jewish supermarket and a policewoman was shot in the Montrouge area.

The latest edition of the magazine blames the acts of violence that took place in France in 2015 on Islamic fundamentalists, organised religion, the government and intelligence failures.

AFP reported that the Vatican’s daily newspaper, Osservatore Romano, said the magazine was forgetting that religious leaders from every faith repeatedly rejected violence in the name of religion “behind the deceptive flag of uncompromising secularism”.

“In Charlie Hebdo’s choice, there is the sad paradox of a world which is more and more sensitive about being politically correct, almost to the point of ridicule, yet does not wish to acknowledge or to respect believers’ faith in God, regardless of the religion,” the newspaper’s commentary said.

Following the attacks last January, Pope Francis said “to kill in the name of God is an absurdity” but warned against insulting other people’s faiths.

On Tuesday, French President Francois Hollande commemorated the victims of the attack. A plaque was unveiled near the Charlie Hebdo headquarters, which read: “To the memory of victims of the terrorist attack against freedom of expression.”