Pope Francis leads prayers in Rome as Met and faith leaders in London say atrocity is attack on all faiths
Pope Francis asked for the ‘wounds of war and terrorism’ to be healed as he prayed for the victims of Saturday night’s London terrorism attack.
During the Regina Coeli prayer in front of thousands in St Peter’s Square the following day, the Pope prayed for the injured and dead and called on the Holy Spirit to end terrorist attacks.
“May He heal the wounds of war and of terrorism, which even this night in London, struck innocent civilians: let us pray for the victims and their families.” Francis said on Pentecost Sunday.
In April, the pontiff visited Egypt where he denounced any violence carried out in the name of God.
“We have an obligation to denounce violations of human dignity and human rights, to expose attempts to justify every form of hatred in the name of religion, and to condemn these attempts as idolatrous caricatures of God,” he said. “Peace alone, therefore, is holy and no act of violence can be perpetrated in the name of God, for it would profane his name.”
Meanwhile faith leaders in the UK joined the Metropolitan Police in London on Monday to call for unity.
Commander Mak Chishty of the Met read a statement on behalf of London Muslim community following the third terror attack in the UK in as many months.
“This terrorist attack is an attack on all communities, including Muslim communities,” it read. “Every time a terrorist attack takes place Muslim communities either face or fear a backlash against them. The Muslim community appeals to all sections within their own communities to root out the scourge of terrorism which hides amongst their own people and masquerades as Islam.
“The Muslim community is alarmed and concerned that this attack by three people which would have required planning and yet was not reported. It is the Islamic duty of every Muslim to be loyal to the country in which they live and we are now asking questions – to understand how extremism and hatred has taken hold within some elements of our own communities.
“Terrorism and extremism is hurting Islam. Muslims must do more to stop such attacks from happening again and we want to know how we can play a greater role in the future.”
Commander Chishty also read the following statement on behalf of the The Salam Forum as part of the wider community and in particular leaders of all faiths.
“Terrorism affects all communities and the recent attacks in the UK show the indiscriminate nature of hurt, injury and death to all communities, including Muslim people who feel that their religion has been violated and abused by terrorists.
“We stand together with our Muslim communities and condemn any type of backlash or Islamaphobic attacks. We stand together and support Muslim communities in needing to do much more with local communities to address extremism and terrorism.
“We would like to convey our thoughts and prayers to the families and our appreciation to all the emergency services and the public for their brave and professional response. We will show that strong bonds between all communities in every ward and neighbourhood across the UK to demonstrate love, respect and care for one another.”