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World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, condemns the latest terrorist attack against people in Istanbul celebrating the New Year.

At least 39 people were killed and dozens more were wounded when a single gunman attacked a crowded Istanbul nightclub about an hour after midnight on New Year’s Day, Turkish officials said.

It was the fourth terrorist attack in Turkey in less than a month.

“Yet, another terror attack in Istanbul. Innocent people are suffering again and again. This is an evil act. This attack is particularly shocking, in the first place because there seems to have been a clear intention deliberately to target people who were simply enjoying themselves at the New Year’ Day,” said Tveit.

The attack occurred at Reina, a dance club and restaurant located on the banks of the Bosphorus Strait, separating Europe from Asia.

On a typical night, the club hosts several hundred guests and is a popular hot spot for celebrities and foreigners visiting Turkey.

Tveit commented, “In the face of this brutality, the human family, all people of faith and of good will, must stand together to recommit to respecting and caring for one another, to protecting one another, and to preventing such violence.”

The WCC offers its deepest condolences to the bereaved and injured. Tveit said “God in your mercy, be with the victims and their families and those who accompany and help them.”

WCC member churches in Turkey