A senior Church leader in the UK says more killings could come after a Normandy priest’s throat was slit Tuesday morning.
Two people killed the priest as he attended mass in a church in Saith-Etienne-du-Rouvray in France. Five people at the church were take hostage and one was seriously injured.
The two assailants were shot and killed by French police.
"There needs to be a connection made between what is happening here and what has been happening in places such as Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan and Iraq," the senior Church leader told Christian Today.
"Suddenly we are seeing this in Europe. It could be an alarming sign of things to come.
"There is a lot of copycat psychology in these kinds of attacks. We are hoping this does not turn into anything more serious and get out of hand, but we are concerned that it might."
The Church leader did not want to be named.
Pope Francis’ spokesman said the pontiff was “horrified and shocked” at the attack.
"We are particularly shocked because this horrible violence took place in a church, in which God's love is announced, with the barbarous killing of a priest and the involvement of the faithful," he said.
Also this week, the head of the Coptic Church in the UK, Bishop Angaelos, warned that the attacks against Christians could “spiral” out of control.
"We've seen similar attacks in places of celebration and of worship," he said. "When people go to places of worship they are probably at their most vulnerable."
Publication date: July 26, 2016