Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Anglicans respond to Nice attack

Anglican leaders in Europe and the UK have issued calls for prayer in the wake of last week’s terror attack in Nice

Anglican leaders in Europe and the UK have issued calls for prayer in the wake of last week’s terror attack in Nice. On 14 July 2016 an islamist terrorist,  French immigrant from Tunisia named Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, killed 84 people and left dozens more injured after he drove a truck through crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in the French resort city. Immediately after the attack the Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev. Justin Welby released a message of condolence via Twitter stating: “As the French rejoice in their liberty, human evil kills the innocent cruelly. Let us weep with them, let us stand with them.” The Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Rev. Michael Jackson said the prayers of Ireland were with “the President and people of France at this time, especially those in Nice who witnessed and were part of this present tragedy, men, women and children alike. We offer them our human solidarity and prayers of support within the love of God.” Dr. Jackson concurred with French President François Hollande’s description of the attack as “violence that is absolute” and prayed that “good relations among those of World Faiths living in France will be upheld as all come together in solidarity to identify with human devastation and loss of life.” The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. David Chillingworth offered his church’s “heartfelt thoughts and prayers” to the French people. “Once again it has been demonstrated that ruthless killers who care nothing for their own safety can in seconds kill, maim and destroy – and take away the well-being of those who find themselves witnesses to terrible events. Civilised societies invite us to come together, to enjoy and to celebrate. But we become hopelessly vulnerable as we do so.” The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Michael Curry on 15 July 2016 noted: “In times such as these, in times when danger seems to lurk, when uncertainty is a reality and when fear is an easy and natural response and it is important for us t as followers of Jesus to remember that prayer is not a way of escape from the world but a way of deeper engagement with by drawing closer to God and closer to each other.” Writing on his blog, the Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe, the Rt. Rev. David Hamid noted the Church of England’s parish in Nice, Holy Trinity, was a close to the scene of the attack. He had been in touch with the chaplain in Nice, the Rev. Peter Jackson, who told him that just before the attack took place, “he was enjoying the national festival, and attended a reception with the Mayor and Prefect, a warm family occasion. At the reception, ironically, honour and tribute was being paid to the those who work for the emergency services in the city. On return to the presbytery, he learned of the attacks close by. One Churchwarden narrowly escaped injury.” Mr. Jackson told the BBC’s Today Programme the older English members of the congregation were invoking the spirit of the Blitz – “be brave and get on with it.” Bishop Hamid wrote: “There are certain to be many in our community who will be personally affected by this tragedy, and we pray for Father Peter and all who minister and care for the survivors.” The Rt. Rev. Pierre Whalon Bishop of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe wrote he was awaiting word on the safety of friends in the city. “The horror of this 14th of July touches us therefore even more personally,” he said, urging Christians to pray “or the dead and dying, the wounded and all who care for them, the police who had to kill the terrorist and face the horror he had created, and him too. And finally, pray and work for justice, that we might have peace.”


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