July 24, 2011
The World Evangelical Alliance has extended its “deepest sympathy” to the people of Norway after last week’s horrific attacks.
At least 92 people were killed in a shooting spree at a youth camp on Friday, although the search is ongoing for those still missing.
Just hours before the rampage on Utoeya island, a bomb exploded at the government building in Oslo, killing seven and injuring dozens more.
The man detained in connection with both attacks, Anders Behring Breivik, has reportedly admitted responsibility.
There are reports that Mr Breivik, 32, is a fundamentalist Christian, with connections to the far right.
According to the BBC, Mr Breivik claimed to be a follower of the Knights Templar in an online document he is believed to have written.
Associate International Director of the World Evangelical Alliance, Gordon Showell-Rogers, said he was shocked by events of recent days.
In a statement, he said: “Norway’s strong Christian history has created a long history of peace within her borders and has been a significant contributor to Norway’s very positive impact on global peace efforts.
“The WEA is saddened to read reports that the suspect claims a ‘Christian’ faith.
“Evangelical Christians globally condemn religious violence in the strongest possible terms, and are sickened when such violence is carried out in the name of Christ.
“These events are a huge shock.’’
The General Secretary of the European Evangelical Alliance, Niek Tramper, said the organisation had greeted news of the atrocities with “much sorrow”.
He offered his condolences to the people of Norway, its political leaders, churches and the parents of the young delegates killed at the youth camp.
“We are horrified to see that humans are able to put in practice such an awful plan,” he said.
“This violence can only be regarded as a sign of utter evil, totally opposing the goodness and righteousness of God.
“With the people of Norway we are reminded again to the world’s brokenness, of which no part of this world is exempted.
“With more urgency we pray that God’s glory will be revealed to the nations.”
Churches across Norway have opened their doors to give people the opportunity to grieve and pray.
Last night, crowds gathered near the Domkirke in central Oslo to leave floral tributes and take part in a candlelight vigil.