Faith leaders mourn slain teacher

The Rouen Interfaith Committee laid a wreath in tribute to Samuel Paty in front of the Fr Jacques Hamel memorial in Saint Étienne du Rouvray (Twitter/Rouen Diocese)

Religious leaders gathered at a memorial to slain French priest Fr Jacques Hamel on Sunday, following the beheading of a Paris schoolteacher in an Islamist terror attack. Source: CNA.

Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen was joined by representatives of Muslim, Jewish, and other Christian communities at the memorial near the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, where Fr Hamel was murdered by Islamists in 2016.

They laid a wreath in honour of Samuel Paty, who was killed on Friday in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburb of Paris. The religious leaders then observed a minute’s silence.

In a statement, members of the interfaith committee of Rouen said they had gathered “to express their shock and utmost condemnation of the murder”.

“God cannot ask to kill,” they said, alluding to reports that the perpetrator, Abdoullakh Abouyedovich Anzorov, attacked Mr Paty after the teacher showed his class a cartoon depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Eyewitnesses said that Anzorov shouted “Allahu akbar” (Arabic for “God is great”) as he murdered Mr Paty near the school where he taught. The 18-year-old Russian national of Chechen origin was shot dead by police shortly after the murder.

The religious leaders said that they committed themselves, “each according to their tradition, to guide their community, to educate the youth, so that they build a true fraternity with all where dialogue replaces violence”.


After teacher beheaded, some in France turn to Fr Jacques Hamel (CNA)


France vows crackdown on radical Islam (The Tablet)

French bishop holds Christian-Muslim gathering to denounce religious fanaticism (La Croix International

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