Shocked and saddened by an unprecedented series of violence against civilians in southern Germany, ECRL moderator Thomas Wipf expressed his profound condolences to the rela-tives and friends, “mourning in sorrow and solidarity the senseless murder in Germany calling religious communities to cooperate even more closely, faced with those who seek to divide.”
A 27-year-old refugee from Syria blew himself up with an explosive device outside a wine bar in Ansbach during an open-air festival on Sunday night. Twelve people were injured, the alleged attacker was killed.
The incident occurred during a particularly violent week for Germany, which also saw a 21-year-old Syrian refugee murder a woman with a knife in the city of Reutlingen on the same day.
Only a few days before an 18-year-old German-Iranian teenager killed nine people, wounded 25 and then shot himself in a shooting near a fast-food restaurant and at the nearby Olympia shopping center in the north of Munich. The teenager had to spend some time in psychatric care, having “a hatred for people, idolizing Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Brevik”, authorities said.
The attack came at an already tense time in Bavaria, four days after a young Afghan asylum seeker attacked several people with a knife and an axe on a local train near Würzburg. He killed no one but injured several. Investigators later found a hand-drawn version of the so-called “Islamic State” flag in the boy’s room.
Just today several people were taken hostage in a church by two men with knives in the Normandy region of France, with the priest and the assailants killed.
ECRL Moderator Rev. Dr. Thomas Wipf stated: “As senior religious leaders we have committed ourselves to further a culture of peace through dialogue, tolerance and flourishing of human dignity, and hence denounce the violence of the extremist. 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.