Prayers for Halle attack

yad vashem kevin snyman urc croppedOn the holiest of days in the Jewish calendar, a gunman ruthlessly shot dead two people in Halle, East Germany yesterday.

The man allegedly attempted to gain access to the city’s Humboldt Street Synagogue, where 70-80 people were marking Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. A video was posted online by the suspect, who is now in custody, filled with hatred and anti-Semitism, including denial of the Holocaust.

“The senseless attack is yet another reminder of the rise in the kind of extremism, which so often targets people of faith at worship,” says the Revd Philip Brooks, the United Reformed Church’s Secretary for Ecumenical Interfaith Relations.

Revd Brooks visited Jerusalem’s Holocaust Memorial Centre, Yad Vashem, pictured, last month, during an educational visit to Israel and Palestine with a party of 22 people from the URC.

He offers this prayer for all victims of terrorist atrocities:

God of all peoples,

We bring to you the horror of the attack in Halle, East Germany, as we remember victims of anti-Semitism and religious hatred in all its forms.

We pray for those injured or bereaved by the violence,

for all those who live in fear of future terrorist atrocities.

May your gracious compassion surround and uphold them.

May they see you in those who respond with compassion and care.

Let the design of your great love shine through the pain and bring a new commitment

for all of us to address the shortcomings of the world with its evil divisions and hatreds.

We know you to be a God whose will it is for violence to end,

who hears our cries, feels our pain, heals our wounds and walks with us in our grief.

God of grace, help us to bring about your vision for this world,

a world where people of all faiths, races and cultures are set free to live in tolerance and mutual respect;

a world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love.

And give us the inspiration and courage to build it,

Amen.

Photo: The Revd Kevin Snyman/URC

Published 10 October 2019