In the wake of the deadly shooting that rocked Ottawa and the rest of Canada Oct. 22, religious leaders and government officials are gathering for an interfaith service, A Prayer for Ottawa, to be held at Christ Church Anglican Cathedral on Sunday, Oct. 26.
The service, scheduled at 4:30 p.m., is “for the people of Ottawa” and is meant to “create an atmosphere of unity, prayerful resolve and hope as we collectively come to terms with the affront and tragedy of October 22,” said the dean of the cathedral, Shane Parker.
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial, was killed in the attack when a masked gunman approached him from behind and shot him twice at point-blank range. A funeral service for Cirillo, who was an Anglican, will be held at Christ’s Church Cathedral (Anglican) in Hamilton, Ont., at noon, Oct. 28.
The gunman, identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, was killed when he stormed Parliament Hill shortly after killing Cirillo. Police said Zehaf-Bibeau had a history of “violence, drugs and mental instability” and had a criminal record in Quebec and British Columbia. Court records obtained by CBC described him as a recent convert to Islam. CBC also reported that Zehaf-Bibeau, whose father is Libyan, had applied to renew his Libyan passport but was denied by the Libyan embassy in Ottawa.
Various Muslim groups in Canada have condemned the attacks in Ottawa and have offered their condolences to Cirillo’s family.