Solidarity with Nordic nations hit by a spate of attacks

The LWF stands in solidarity with all those affected by recent attacks in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Photo: LWF/S. Gallay
The LWF stands in solidarity with all those affected by recent attacks in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Photo: LWF/S. Gallay

LWF General Secretary sends condolences to those affected by recent attacks in Sweden, Denmark and Norway

(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) General Secretary Rev. Anne Burghardt has written to leaders of the churches in Sweden, Denmark and Norway where a spate of shootings and stabbings have taken place in recent weeks. The attacks in Visby, Copenhagen and Oslo, she said, “tragically killed and injured innocent people,” as well as traumatizing “many others who were caught up and affected by the violence in different ways.”

On 6 July, a woman died after being stabbed in Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland. In Copenhagen, three people died on 3 July after a gunman opened fire in a shopping center, while in the Norwegian capital, two people died and 21 were injured on 25 June after a gunman attacked several pubs and clubs in the city center.

In her letter to the church leaders, the LWF General Secretary offered condolences to the victims’ families and expressed the solidarity of the global communion of churches. As Christians, she said, “we forcefully condemn all such acts of terror and violence, constantly raising our voices for justice, peace, reconciliation and the dignity of all people.”

Our churches are called to redouble their efforts to create a culture of compassion and respect for human life and to stand for dialogue and open societies,
LWF General Secretary Rev. Anne Burghardt

The three violent episodes, Burghardt said, represent “attacks on open and democratic societies.” She noted that the churches in the three Nordic nations “have played a vital role” in advocating for justice, peace and dignity for the vulnerable and marginalized.

“In partnership with all people of good will,” she added, “our churches are called to redouble their efforts to create a culture of compassion and respect for human life and to stand for dialogue and open societies.”

LWF/P. Hitchen