|People stop by the French consulate in Krakow, Poland, to remember the victims of last week's terrorist attacks in Paris. Communities all over the world have found ways to show solidarity with the French people. Above photo and the home page feature from Bigstockphoto.com.|
United Methodists and other religious leaders are expressing shock over the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris and feelings of solidarity with the French people but cautioning against condemnations of Muslims or a dangerous escalation of military action.
And the World Council of Churches and others have pointed out that equally disturbing attacks are occurring elsewhere, including the Nov. 12 bombings in a Beirut, Lebanon, shopping area that claimed 41 lives.
Bishop Patrick Streiff, who oversees the small number of United Methodist congregations in France as the episcopal leader of central and southern Europe, pointed to his horror over “the depth of violence despising human lives” and to his conviction of the need to follow the model of Christ as peacemakers.
“We are people who believe in Christ. Our life shall witness that Christ is the Prince of Peace. He has blessed those who make peace. This shall model our answer to the terrible attacks in Paris,” he said in a statement.
"As Christians, we serve the Prince of Peace,” noted Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, United Methodist Board of Church and Society, as she expressed deep sympathy for the French people. “May His message of love and hope transcend the terror our world has felt today."
Moment of silence in Europe
In Paris, London, Berlin and elsewhere in Europe, people gathered publicly Nov. 16 to observe a moment of silence in honor of the victims at noon Paris time.
The attacks, at six different locations, began at 9:20 p.m. Friday at the Germany-France soccer match and ended at 12:20 a.m. Saturday when police stormed the concert hall where 89 people were killed. In the end, the death toll stood at 129, with 352 wounded, 99 critically.
Click here to read more of this report from United Methodist News Service.