Faith Groups Unite in Condemnation of London Terrorist Bomb Attacks

In efforts to help the public unite in peace and solidarity in the aftermath of the London attacks, the UK Home Secretary, Mr Charles Clarke this weekend met with various senior faith group leaders.
( [email protected] ) Jul 11, 2005 03:02 PM EDT

In the aftermath of the London Terrorist Attacks, which saw a series of bombs planted at four separate sections of the London transport system, faith groups and the UK government have been attempting to ensure that calm remains between faith communities.

The bombs attacks have seen more than 50 reported killed by the London police force, with more than 700 injured in the blasts.

In efforts to help the public unite in peace and solidarity at this time, the UK Home Secretary, Mr Charles Clarke this weekend met with various senior faith group leaders, reported Ekklesia.

Leaders from the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Sikh faiths united together with Mr Clarke to coordinate effective responses from the different communities.

The Head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor along with other heads from other faiths spoke about community relations in London and the UK in the days following the bombings.

An extremist Islamic group has claimed responsibility for the bombings, and this has led to fears that a backlash may occur against the Islamic community in response to the attacks.

However, terrorism in general and these specific incidents were fully condemned by the leaders of all faith groups. Mr Clarke condemned any backlashes that may occur and said that the bomb attacks in London had targeted those of all faiths, according to Ekklesia.

Clarke reported, "Faith is important in our society and [it is important] that all faiths have respect for other faiths. By working together we can address the problems of society in an effective way."

All leaders backed the resolve led by British Prime Minister Tony Blair that those wanting to disrupt multicultural Britain would not be allowed to succeed.

Evangelical Alliance

In a statement released by the Evangelical Alliance UK (EAUK) the organisation called on its members to pray for the families of those killed and injured by the multiple explosions in London.

A spirit of peace and mercy was encouraged, and the EAUK urged people no to allow feelings of panic or revenge come to them.

The General Director of the Evangelical Alliance in the UK, Rev Joel Edwards, "We pray earnestly for those who have suffered loss or injury today and call on God to bind up the broken hearted. I have found Psalm 46 a great comfort at this time."

Bishop of London

The Bishop of London has also commented on the tragic incidents that have been witnessed across England’s capital. Rev Richard Chartres said, "This is a grave day for London. Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured and the bereaved and also with the Emergency Services who have responded so rapidly. London's clergy have been working alongside the Emergency Services since early this morning and churches close to affected areas have been opened for shelter, aid and prayer."

World Council of Churches

The WCC totally rejected the violent actions, and the General Secretary, Rev Samuel Kobia send has sent a message to the churches and people of the United Kingdom.

Kobia expressed how his heart was heavy after hearing the news and he was filled with sadness and concern.

He also said, "I convey my condolences to the relatives and friends of those who were killed."

Kobia continued, "We pray to the Lord for peace and hope for all of them and for the inhabitants of London and the United Kingdom, who feel their lives to be in danger after these terrible events."

Anglican Communion

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has denounced the bomb attacks, which took place across London during the Thursday morning rush hour.

Dr Williams extended his sympathy to all those "suffering and grieving at this time," as well as offering his prayers for their comfort.

"All those caught up in this tragedy – and that includes of course the emergency services whose selfless dedication and commitment is so vital at times like this – all are in my own prayers and in the prayers of a great many people."

Dr Williams was with Muslim colleagues and friends on an interfaith visit to West Yorkshire at the time of the attacks and assured the resounding denunciation of all in attendance with him: "We were one in our condemnation of this evil and in our shared sense of care and compassion for those affected in whatever way."

The Archbishop called for unity, saying "Such solidarity and common purpose is vital for us all at this time of pain and sorrow and anger."

Ekklesia report that the British government is also staying regularly in touch with the head of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, in the aftermath of the London bombings.

Roman Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI called the attacks "barbaric acts against humanity" and said he was praying for the families of the victims.

Church of Scotland

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Rev David Lacy, and the convener of the Kirk’s Church and Society Council, Morag Mylne, have also issued a statement of condemnation on behalf of the Church of Scotland.

"There are no words sufficient ever to speak of the kind of horror visited on London this morning. The immediate reaction of shock and distress turns quickly to sympathy and grief for the bereaved and injured."

The Church also called on people to remember God during this time, saying, "This is a time to know that God suffers with the attacked and the oppressed. That is where our concentration, our presence and our prayers must be."

The statement continued by offering condolences for all those affected: "Our prayer today is for comfort for those who are hurt, strength for those whose duties are to rescue and to treat, and peace for the city and all its people.

"As we as a nation seek to come to terms with an attack on our freedoms and our democracy, it is to those principles that we must hold. Our reaction must be to strengthen and uphold what terrorism seeks to destroy."