Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of the Bishops’ International Affairs department, has prayed for the 30 Ethiopian Christians apparently murdered by Daesh in Libya and said, in a statement, that the Christian faith “encourages us to stand in solidarity with all those vulnerable peoples and communities across the MENA region that spurn merciless and ungodly ideologies.”
“Once more, it is with a sense of deep sadness and grief that we mourn the deaths of innocent Ethiopian Christian workers who were killed with such impunity by Daesh (ISIS) in Libya.
“Our sorrow can easily spill into anger when thinking of the mounting number of victims of such men who clothe their actions with religion while murdering civilians across the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA).
“Daesh (ISIS) has a two-fold strategy. On the one hand, they and their followers are executing their own warped version of Islam, on the other, they are trying – desperately in some cases – to enrage world opinion so that our reactions of anger and retribution would justify in their own minds their heinous crimes and lead to further deaths and executions.
“Today, we pray for the repose of the souls of those innocent victims just as we prayed for the Coptic Christians who were killed in Libya too. We also pray for the families of those men who now have to cope not only with the loss of their loved ones, but also the loss of any economic support.
“Our Christian faith encourages us to stand in solidarity with all those vulnerable peoples and communities across the MENA region that spurn merciless and ungodly ideologies.
“We therefore also join our prayers to those of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and beseech the Almighty that He will show the killers the way of peace and reconciliation.”
Rt Rev Declan Lang
Chair, Department for International Affairs
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales