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World News

'The only thing we must not fear is fear itself': Terror attacks in Europe, here’s how you can pray

by Kelly Valencia

Europe has been facing a wave of terror attacks. In less than a month, there have been four different attacks with allegedly Islamist motives. 

On Monday, Austria's capital Vienna saw a 20-year-old man open fire with a rifle in the city centre killing four people and injuring 22 others during a night in which Austrians were preparing for a coronavirus curfew. 

Speaking to Premier, Cannon Patrick Curran, leader of the Anglican Episcopal Christ Church in Vienna, said he was not surprised by the attack.

"I think every major city in Western Europe can expect something like this happening because the tensions are not just local, there are tensions that cross many different divides.

"There are many people who are full of resentment, who feel left behind, who want to grab power...all these different tensions are there and there are many people who don't really appreciate democratic nations and the kind of discourse that we're trying to have. 

"The only thing we must not fear is fear itself. I think my response to these things is: always do what you're doing and keep doing it and keep doing it well," Cannon Curran said.

In response to the attack in Vienna, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on Tuesday that the UK terror threat level will be escalated to 'severe' as a precautionary measure.

The Vienna attack follows three others that took place in France. Tensions with the Islamic community have increased since President Macron said that Islam was a religion "in crisis" globally. 

On 2nd October, a teacher was beheaded in Paris. Last week, three people were killed in a church in Nice and on Saturday, a priest was shot dead in Lyon. 

Fr Peter is the lead pastor of Holy Trinity in Nice. He told Premier that secularism in France is a real problem and encouraged people to be extremely careful before jumping to conclusions, as it could provoke more violence. He believes it is worrying that the French Government is perceived as anti-Islamic.

"The real argument at the moment is that the provocation comes from the president and the Government. The president gave a speech about a month ago about the relationship between the state and Muslim extremists, saying that we are one community, [that] we're not in a variety of communities. This has provoked people outside France to an enormous extent - they perceive the president and the Government as being anti-Islamic."

Fr Peter wants to encourage Christians to pray for the people who responded to the crisis as "they will have seen just horrendous things. I think we should also pray for moderation on all sides, and better dialogue so that there isn't the risk of an escalation of violence," he added. 

Cannon Patrick in Austria urges Christians in the UK to think of the victims on upcoming Remembrance Sunday. He is keen to encourage Christians to remember there is a future and that they have abundant life through Jesus Christ. 

"If you're going to a remembrance Sunday service this week in the UK, then I would actually ask you to really take time with that act of commitment because it's about our future.

"We, as Christians, have come to know that God is compassionate, merciful and loving, and in the end, God is also just and God's justice will prevail."

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