THE attacks on Friday night, which left more than 120 people dead, have prompted an outpouring of prayer and support for the people of Paris.
The Archbishop of Canterbury tweeted at 10.20 on Friday evening: “Tragic Paris, desperate news of deep tragedy, with heartbreak for so many. We weep with those affected, pray for deliverance and justice.”
A Vatican spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi, said: “We are shocked by this new manifestation of maddening, terrorist violence and hatred which we condemn in the most radical way, together with the Pope and all those who love peace.
“We pray for the victims and the wounded, and for all the French people. This is an attack on peace for all humanity, and it requires a decisive, supportive response on the part of all of us, as we counter the spread the homicidal hatred in all of its forms.”
On Saturday the toll from the multiple gun and bomb attacks stood at 128 killed and 99 critically injured. An Islamic State statement claimed responsibility for the attacks, which came one day after the reported execution of the IS militant called Jihadi John in US drone strike.
As news of the Paris attacks unfolded, the Rt Revd Pierre Whalon, Bishop-in-Charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, based in Paris, tweeted: “I pray for our town, the victims, the forces of law and order, and our enemies. Lord have mercy.”
The Presiding Bishop in the United States, the Most Revd Michael Curry, posted a video asking Episcopalians to join him in the Lord’s Prayer, for “those who have died, those who may be in harm’s way, those who seek to help in any way, and for us as the human family.”
The RC Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, issued a statement descrying the “savagery and intensity” of the attacks.
“After the attacks of last January, after the attack this week in Beirut, and many others along in recent months, including in Nigeria and other African countries, our country is again experiencing the pain of mourning, and must be faced with barbarism propagated by fanatical groups.”
He asked Parisians to make Saturday and Sunday days of mourning and prayer.
“Faced with the violence of men, may we receive the grace of a heart firm and without hatred. Moderation, temperance, and control all have shown so far are confirmed in the weeks and months that come. . . We must never despair of peace if we are building justice.”
The Anglican Bishop in Europe, Dr Robert Innes, wrote: “I am deeply shocked by the terrible tragedy which has befallen the city of Paris. I offer my fervent prayers for the families who have so brutally and suddenly lost loved ones, and for all who are struggling with serious injury.
“As a diocese we want to express our solidarity with the people of France at this dark time. Acts of terror against innocent people are totally abhorrent. We pray for deliverance from evil and that all the perpetrators and their accomplices are swiftly brought to justice.”
In Ireland, where the memory of terrorist attacks remains strong, the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd Michael Jackson issued the following prayer in solidarity “with all those who have died and those who are bereaved and terrified as a result of the atrocities of Friday evening”.
“Almighty God we lay before you today the people of France and in particular the citizens of Paris.
We pray for those who have been killed in the atrocities of Friday evening November 13 and we ask for your mercy towards those who mourn the lost and tend the sick and injured.
We pray for the security and support services and for all who exercise political and civic leadership.
Most of all we pray for peace in a world of violence.”