European Council of Religious Leaders: Our heart goes out to the people of France

European Couencil of Religious Leaders Media Release

Muslim, Jewish, Christian and European Religious Leaders of all traditions stand united in grief and anger about the terrible attacks in Paris.

Upon witnessing the unfolding violence in Paris the Moderator of the European Council of Religious Leaders (ECRL) Revd. Dr. Thomas Wipf stated: “We, people of all religious traditions in Europe are united in our grief and anger about the terrible terrorist attacks in Paris. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and all those affected. We strongly condemn all acts of violence and terrorism which can never be just justified on religious grounds. We want to commit ourselves even more intensively for peace and security wherever we live.”

He further added: “As members of different faiths and from different countries we stand in solidarity and pray for the victims killed, the injured and their nearest and dearest. Our heart goes out to the people of France for once again they been targeted and their peace shattered.”

French ECRL Council member H.E Metropolitan Emmanuel called “for national unity, strengthening of coexistence and protection of the fundamental values of our Republic.”

The Grand Mufti of the Republic of Slovenia added: “We are very shocked and deeply sad by the massacre of the innocent people in Paris. Terrorism is the evil and we must together condemn and combat any violence. We express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the French people.”

The Secretary-General of ECRL, the Zoroastrian Jehangir Sarosh, urged all faith communities to “reinforce our resolve to stand in solidarity to strengthen our work for liberty, equality and fraternity”.

Speaking at a Birmingham vigil, Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohinder Singh, Chairman of Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha said:

On Friday in Paris we saw 129 people killed and many injured.Over
the last weeks we have seen many atrocities carried out in Lebanon, Syria, India – the list is endless. It is not about the number of lives lost – one life lost is one too many.

We need more faith in Solidarity. People of all faiths and none – good human beings need to come together and unite. People of faith are the conscience of the world – we have a duty to speak up and a duty to rally around during times of crisis.

“Every person has a responsibility to respect life. No one has the right to injure, to torture or to kill another human”

(Interaction Council, 1st September 1997)

Allow me to share a Prayer with you:

“The whole world is suffering: engulfed in flames of many destructive forces, primarily violent extremism, lust, revenge, greed, and ego. We plead to you God, through your mercy, please protect and save us, no matter which door or sanctuary or place of worship we come from, take us into your fold and refuge. Pray, shelter and protect us” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 853)


The European Council of Religious Leaders – Religions for Peace (ECRL) brings together senior religious leaders from Europe’s historical religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam together with Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and Zoroastrians. ECRL has participatory status with the Council of Europe. ECRL is one of five regional Interreligious Councils with the Religions for Peace network. Religions for Peace – accredited to the United Nations – is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition advancing common action for peace since 1970. 


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