Prayers, solidarity with victims of Vienna attack 

Photo: Jaclyn Moy via Unsplash
Photo: Jaclyn Moy via Unsplash

LWF General Secretary sends message of support to Austrians coping with “senseless loss of life” 

(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) stands in solidarity with Austrians mourning the deaths of four people killed in a terror attack in the center of Vienna on 2 November. A further 22 people were injured after gunmen opened fire on bars and restaurants in several locations around the city center. 

In a message of support sent to Bishop Michael Chalupka, head of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Austria, the LWF General Secretary, Rev. Dr Martin Junge urges Lutherans to remain steadfast in proclaiming the gospel message of “peace and life in abundance to all.” 

In the wake of “this violent attack and its profound contempt for human life,” Junge writes, “let your proclamation continue to affirm life, service to the neighbour, deep compassion for those in distress.” He continues: “Let your public voice be one that helps a society in pain to remain on a path of peace with justice. “  

We pray that this shocking situation won’t erode existing interfaith relations in your country, but on the contrary, emphasize its ongoing importance. 
LWF General Secretary, Rev. Dr Martin Junge

In the message, Junge assures Austrians of prayers and the solidarity of the worldwide LWF communion of churches, as those affected cope with “this senseless loss of life.” The Lutheran leader says he prays that “this shocking situation won’t erode existing interfaith relations in your country, but on the contrary, emphasize its ongoing importance.”  

Junge's message echoes the words of Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz, who tweeted in the wake of the attack: “We must always be aware that this is not a dispute between Christians and Muslims or between Austrians and migrants. This is a struggle between the many people who believe in peace and the few who want war.” 

Austrians are holding three days of national mourning for the victims of the attack, which came just hours before new restrictions were put in place to try and slow the spread of COVID-19 infections.