Shock and Horror at Attacks in Norway

Floral tributes outside Oslo Cathedral © Gunnar Grøsland

LWF prays for victims and expresses its solidarity

Geneva, 24 July 2011 (LWI) – The President and General Secretary of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) have reacted with shock and horror to the attacks in Norway’s capital, Oslo, and on the island of Utøya.

In a letter of condolence addressed to Permanent Presiding Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien of the Church of Norway and President Rev. Arnfinn Løyning of the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Norway, LWF President Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan and LWF General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge assured the Norwegian church leaders of the Lutheran communion’s solidarity.

“In this shocking and horrific time for Norway, our hearts go out to you, to all the people of your churches, and to all Norwegians,” they said. “Especially in our prayers are the families and loved ones of those whose lives were so senselessly taken yesterday.”

In the words of Junge and Younan, the LWF communion was praying that the courage of the Norwegian people would not be broken at this time of mourning for the victims of the tragedy, and of grieving by those near and dear to them.

They noted that for many years Norway had been a “beacon of peace and peacemaking, locally, nationally and internationally.” The LWF leaders spoke of their deep sorrow “that Norway itself now has suffered such violence.”

Speaking on behalf of the whole LWF, they concluded by expressing the hope that “in the aftermath of your shock and grief, Norwegians will soberly recommit themselves to your special calling in our troubled world–to work for peace and justice, and thereby help to make this world a better place.” (281 words)

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