The terrorist attacks in Paris have brought strong condemnation from Church leaders including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Cardinal Vincent Nichols of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Church leaders have also issued statements on the Beirut bombs of 12 November 2015 and other acts of violence around the world. Below are a collection of some of the responses:
Cardinal Nichols condemns Paris attacks
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has condemned the killings and offered his prayers. In a statement released 14 November he said: ‘This morning I wish to express my horror at the events that took place in Paris last night. This random killing of innocent people is utterly despicable and a course of action which must be rejected unequivocally by all.’
Full statement: Catholic Church in England and Wales
Statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury
In response to the attacks in Paris, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said on 14 November 2015: ‘The sorrow in Paris is heartbreaking and the evil of those who planned and perpetrated the Paris atrocities is beyond measure or words. We weep with the victims and with the bereaved.’
Full statement: Archbishop of Canterbury website
Statement by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Church UK
‘As the full extent of the tragic aftermath of the indiscriminate brutality witnessed in Paris becomes more apparent, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families and loved ones of all who have lost their lives so tragically, and those who will continue to live with the injury and trauma suffered as a result of these horrific events.
‘These scenes of intentionally brutal and unmerciful violence around the world, most recently in Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt and Syria, are becoming an all too familiar component of our daily lives, yet the effect of such inhumane acts against innocent individuals and families remains deeply traumatic and painful for all touched by them, both directly and indirectly.’
Full statement: Coptic Orthodox Church UK website
WCC strongly condemned terror attacks
The World Council of Churches (WCC) has strongly condemned the latest terror attacks in Paris and Beirut, in a statement issued on 14 November the WCC executive committee said:
‘In the face of this brutality, the human family, all people of faith and of good will, must stand together to recommit to respecting and caring for one another, to protecting one another, and to preventing such violence.’
Full statement: WCC website
Response to Beirut bombings
The WCC also sent a letter of solidarity to the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) after the Beirut bombs of 12 November 2015:
The MECC issued its own response to the Beirut bombing:
A statement on both terrorist attacks was issued by Global Ministries (Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ):
Conference of European Churches (CEC)
In a press statement CEC says ‘The Conference of European Churches grieves the loss of life and mourns with all those affected by this enormous tragedy. We pray for the victims, their families and friends, and for the men and women who risked their own lives last night in service to others.’
Archbishop Tartaglia sends message of support to Archbishop of Paris
The President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, has sent a message of support to the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Vingt-Trois, expressing his ‘sadness at the horrific events which unfolded in Paris last night’. Archbishop Tartaglia’s message also promises to ‘join with you in prayer, commending to God’s love and mercy all those who were killed, injured, and bereaved’.
Prayers for Paris from Church in Wales
People caught up in the atrocities in Paris were remembered in churches across Wales over the weekend. A special message was read out in Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff, from the Assistant Bishop of Llandaff, David Wilbourne:
‘The people who gather today in Llandaff Cathedral, the cathedral of Wales’ capital city, reach out in love and compassion and sympathy to the people of another capital city, Paris, as they grieve at the terrible loss visited upon them on Friday night, and gather in their cathedral of Notre Dame.’
Full message and prayers: Church in Wales website
Church of Ireland Bishops sign book of condolence
The Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Ken Good, and the Bishop of Derry, Dr Donal McKeown, have signed the Book of Condolence opened at Londonderry’s Guildhall for the victims of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
Methodist Church statements on the Paris attacks
The President and the Vice-President of the Conference have issued the following statement about the attacks in Paris:
‘We, and all the Methodist people, pray for all the victims of the attacks in Paris on Friday night. We hold in our prayers all those who seek to offer comfort and support in the days and weeks ahead.’
Full statement: Methodist Church website.
Church of Scotland
The Moderator of the General Assembly says peacemaking has never been more urgent following the atrocities in Paris which have left hundreds of people dead and seriously injured. The Church has come together in response to the terrible events to pray for the victims and show support for all those affected.
Full statement: Church of Scotland website
Prayer for Paris
‘Turn away from evil and do good; strive for peace with all your heart’
(Psalm 34:14, Good News Version)
The prayer is available on the Church of Scotland website.
URC letter of solidarity to churches in France
On Saturday 13 November, the Revd David Grosch-Miller and Mr John Ellis, the Moderators of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, wrote to the United Reformed Church’s partners in France, following the terrorist attacks in Paris:
‘We express our shock and profound sadness at the senseless acts of violence, the loss of many innocent lives and the pain and grief inflicted on so many people.’
Full letter: URC website
Statement from Quakers in Britain
‘The attacks in Paris on 13 November were deeply shocking and our hearts continue to go out to those killed, injured, bereaved and traumatised.
‘It is human nature that the closer suffering comes to us, the more acutely we feel the pain and grief. But that experience should sensitise us to the suffering caused repeatedly by acts of war and violent crime in more distant places, including Beirut, Sinai, Bamako and Aleppo. It should strengthen our determination to build a safer world together.’
For the full statement see the Quakers in Britain website.
Statement from Inter Faith Network for the UK
A statement released on 13 November 2015 by from Co-Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Interfaith Network for the UK:
‘We have watched with deep concern the news unfolding of coordinated murders, injury and destruction in terrorist attacks in Paris. Our prayers are with all affected by this atrocity.
‘A jihadist motive is described in news coverage.
‘Terrorism has many faces. Sometimes it wears the mask of religion, claiming a justification in religious teaching for its acts. This is rejected in the strongest terms by faith communities.’
Full statement: Interfaith Network for the UK website