Guterres believes that houses of worship around the world must be safe havens for reflection and peace, not sites of bloodshed and terror, and people must be allowed to observe and practice their faiths in peace, said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, in a statement.
The secretary-general conveyed his deep condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and government of Burkina Faso. He also wished a speedy recovery to those who were injured, said the statement.
At least 14 people were killed and many others wounded after unidentified gunmen opened fire on a congregation attending a church service in Hantoukoura in eastern Burkina Faso on Sunday.
Earlier Monday, Miguel Moratinos, the high representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations, also condemned the terrorist attack in the African country.
Moratinos stressed that all forms of violence and acts of terror targeting religious sites and worshipers, regardless of their faiths and beliefs, are unjustifiable, said his spokeswoman Nihal Saad in a statement.
He recalled the UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites, which was developed by his team and launched by Guterres on Sept. 12, 2019, and called on all governments and relevant stakeholders to support the implementation of the plan so as to guarantee the sanctity of the places of worship and the safety of worshipers.
Moratinos extended his condolences to the victims' families and the government and people of Burkina Faso.
In October this year, 15 worshipers were killed in a mosque attack in Burkina Faso.