Christian leaders in the U.K. are lamenting the death of David Amess, a Conservative British Parliamentarian, who died last Friday after he was stabbed inside a church.
Amess, 69, was attending a public "constituency surgery" at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea when a 25-year-old man stabbed him multiple times.
According to The Christian Post, constituency surgeries are face-to-face meetings between officeholders and their constituents. The MP, who was known for his pro-life and socially conservative viewpoints, later died despite paramedics' best efforts.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, police arrested the suspect on suspicion of murder, suggesting that Islamic extremism was the motive for the attack.
In response to Amess' death, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was "one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics."
"David was a man who believed passionately in this country and in its future and we have lost today a fine public servant and a much-loved friend and colleague, and our thoughts are very much today with his wife, his children and his family," Johnson continued, according to Reuters.
Several church leaders also expressed their reactions to Friday's incident.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who was "shocked and saddened" by Ammess' death, said that the murder was "an attack on our democratic process and traditions."
"This death throws a sharp light onto the fact that our Members of Parliament are servants of the people, available to people in their need, especially in their constituencies," he said, Crux Now reported.
Nichols commended the conservative lawmaker for carrying out "his vocation as a Catholic in public life with generosity and integrity," noting that he was "respected by all political parties across the House."
In a statement by Archbishop Justin Welby, he said he was "truly devastated" by the tragic news.
"The murder of an MP, in the course of caring for their constituents, is a deep blow to this country, its citizens and everyone who desires a peaceful and flourishing democracy," he continued.
"I had the great honor of calling David Amess a friend when I was Bishop of Chelmsford," The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, said in a statement.
"He was the MP for the constituency where I grew up, and not only did he always faithfully serve those people and that place, but had a particular concern for the Christian community born of his own deeply held Christian faith as a member of the Roman Catholic community," Cottrell added.
Amess' murder comes just five years after the death of Helen Joanne Cox, the Labour MP for Batley and Spen, who was murdered in June 2016 while on her way to a constituency surgery.
Amess is survived by his wife and five children.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Hollie Adams/Stringer
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.