After the recent attacks in Indonesia and France, terror experts are warning other churches could be next.
From The Mirror in London:
Christian leaders are being warned to increase security and avoid wearing [clergy] collars in public. New counter terrorism advice is being urgently issued to vicars and churches across the UK this week over fears an attack on British religious institutions is now likely. The new measures follow the murder of a priest by two ISIS terrorists in France last month, amid fears the same could now happen in the UK. Experts warn that a terrorist attack on churches “is coming.” Places of worship in the UK, which are ‘easy targets’ for extremists, are now being urged to take precautions and beef up security. A draft of the measures being issued and seen by Mirror Online – called Counter Terrorism Advice for Churches – urges religious leaders to prepare for incidents and to be on alert for attackers, who are likely to be armed with knives. The Christian church is feared to be Islamic State’s new target. Last Sunday Catholic Priest Albert Pandiangan was stabbed during by an ISIS-inspired knifeman during mass in Indonesia – who then tried to set off an explosive device but failed. Catholic priest Jacques Hamel, 85, had his throat slit by knife-wielding assailants wearing fake explosive belts when he was taken hostage at his church in Normandy on July 26. The slaying has prompted guidance for religious institutions in the UK to be rewritten. This is being done by former police officer Nick Tolson, who has advised the Home Office on counter-terrorism measures since 2012. He is writing the measures for National Churchwatch – which produces personal safety advice to people who work at places of worship. Mr Tolson told Mirror Online: “Since the French attack we have to look at the possibility of an attack on a church in this country. The risk level has gone up. “Churches in the past were considered low risk – now we know an attack is coming… and churches are one of the easy targets. “It’s likely to be a knife – not a machine gun, but we are covering that too.”
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