Churches condemn London blasts

Published September 1, 2005

Church leaders around the world condemned the bombings that killed 56 people in London last July 7, and called for peace and sobriety.

“The appalling events in London have shocked us all,” said Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams shortly after four coordinated bomb attacks hit three underground trains and a double-decker bus during rush hour. “So I want first and foremost to extend my personal sympathy and condolences to everyone who is suffering and grieving at this time.”

Archbishop Williams, who was on an interfaith visit to northern England when the tragedy struck, said, “I have spent this morning with Muslim colleagues and friends in West Yorkshire; and we were all as one in our condemnation of this evil and in our shared sense of care and compassion for those affected in whatever way.”

Rev. Samuel Kobia, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, said peace “is the only way to achieve justice for all.”

Archbishop Williams also appeared on BBC Radio and called on the British people to “take courage.” He said: “We may not feel we have much strength, we may still feel partly paralyzed. There’s a passage in the New Testament where Paul says something like this: ‘We don’t know how to pray or what to hope for sometimes. But the spirit of God is working with us, and even our wordless cries and groans become part of the Spirit’s action.'”

In Canada, Rev. Raymond Schultz, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), described the bombings as “actions of persons who are controlled by hate.”

“Contrary to popular opinion, hate is not love’s opposite. Hate is an expression of fear,” said Bishop Schultz in a statement. “These are the primal actions of people in whom hate has been deliberately bred. They are being motivated by imagined threats so that they fear for their very identity.”

Bishop Schultz said it was important for people to “distinguish between a minority of such terror-driven fanatics and a global community of ordinary Muslims.”

With filesa? froma? ENI and ACNS


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