The Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, have strongly condemned a bombing in Manchester, United Kingdom, that has left 22 persons dead and another five-dozen wounded. The attack took place at Manchester Stadium, just as thousands of children and young people, along with their parents and many others, were leaving a pop concert.
“It is particularly shocking that this so-called suicide killing was directed against young people, and even children,” Tveit said in a comment.
The attack, reportedly by a suicide bomber, follows a string of such attacks in continental Europe—in Brussels, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Istanbul, and Nice— and the UK, which in 2005 suffered subway and bus bombings in London and a more recent attack at the Palace of Westminster. The motives of the attack are unknown and no individual or group has claimed responsibility.
Together, the World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches decry this cruel act that irreparably touched the lives of so many. Whatever the reasons for these actions, there is no justification for such violence, the world should be united in condemning this criminal act of horror, they stated. CEC general secretary Fr Heikki Huttunen joined Tveit in these sentiments. “We honour a God who is life-giving, who sustains and redeems. Such horrors as happened last night encourage us to affirm this truth even more strongly.”
The CEC and the WCC encourage prayer for and solidarity with the victims and those close to them.