SALT LAKE CITY — A German leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released an official statement Thursday expressing solidarity with the synagogue in Halle, Germany, that was attacked Wednesday and prayed “for a future without hatred and violence.”
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the terrible events in Halle,” said Elder Erich W. Kopischke, a native German who is the second counselor of the church’s Europe Area Presidency based in Frankfurt, Germany.
A gunman posted a hate-filled statement online, then tried to breech the security door of the synagogue on Wednesday as 80 people inside observed Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, with fasting, prayer and repentance, The Washington Post reported. The gunman killed two random people outside the synagogue when he could not shoot open the door.
“We pray for those affected, their families and friends, and we wish them much strength,” Elder Kopischke said in the statement, which was posted on the church’s German newsroom website and the Twitter account of the church in Europe. “It causes us great concern and dismay when believers in Germany or elsewhere experience attacks, threats, anxiety or insecurity in their day-to-day practice of their faith. With respect to yesterday’s Day of Reconciliation, we especially pray for a future without hatred and violence.”