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Praying with People of Faith for the Victims of the London Attacks

Following the London attacks on Wednesday, 22nd March, that have so far resulted in the deaths of four victims and the injury of around 40, faith leaders have joined in solidarity to pray together and to show their commitment to standing together for the good of all.

On Thursday, 23rd March, faith leaders met with representatives of the Government and Metropolitan Police to affirm their intent to work together for peace and for the good of all Londoners. Representing the Catholic Church at the meeting was Bishop John Wilson said: 'We pledged our willingness to not allow terrorism to polarise our society. We talked about practical ways in which we can witness to unity, symbolically standing together outside Scotland Yard to give a common witness in rejection of any kind of violence or hate crime in the name of religion.'

He added:  'Many people are still shocked by what has happened. Both religious and non-religious alike, want to express their common humanity by standing in solidarity with each other in the face of terrorism. There is great admiration for our police and emergency services and deep gratitude for the many acts of heroism and kindness show by members of the public.'

On the same day, the Presidents of Churches Together in England, issued a statement expressing 'sincere condolences to the bereaved families and friends of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attack'.

They prayed 'for the healing of those injured, and for the wellbeing of our society in which all seek after and promote the common good in a spirit of love for our fellow human beings'. and they prayed 'too for Parliament, the police and the emergency services who responded with such bravery, professionalism and compassion, and who continue to support all those affected by this terrible attack'.

On Friday, Cardinal Vincent joined Archbishop Justin Welby, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Sheikh Ezzat Khalifa, Sheikh Mohammad al-Hilli and Sheikh Qari Asim in a prayer vigil in Westminster to pray for the victims and for London as the capital looks forward to the future.

At the vigil, Cardinal Vincent said that Londoners have shown that they will never be cowed by terrorism: 'No person and no event will drive a wedge between us, together we will prevail.'

The Archbishop of Canterbury explained: 'We have all of us come together because it is a moment of sad reflection but also a moment of determination for our nation together. In standing here, we represent the three Abrahamic faith communities, all equally committed to a peaceful future.'

All the leaders expressed their commitment to stand together in solidarity.

Photo: Rabbi Mirvis speaks at the vigil in Westminster as the other leaders look on (Mazur/