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Muslims attend Catholic mass in show of solidarity after French church attack

Among those who attended the service was Hayat, who came with her children and husband. 'This was basically a message of unity, aside from peace, it was really about unity,' she said. Photograph: (AFP)

Reuters Seine-Saint-Denis, France Aug 01, 2016, 05.17 AM (IST)
Muslims in Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris, attended a mass on Sunday, July 31 to pay tribute to a priest killed in a knife attack.

The French Muslim Community Council had urged Muslims to attend mass all over the country in a gesture of solidarity and compassion with the Catholic community.

The request was made after Father Jacques Hamel was killed when two attackers linked to Islamic State interrupted a church service and forced the 85-year-old Roman Catholic priest to his knees at the altar and slit his throat.

Since Saturday, Muslims have been joining Catholics around France for vigils, marches and masses to show solidarity and unity between their religious communities.

"To forgive is to give despite my anger, my resentment, so that life returns between myself and another, without which suffering moves in, remains and festers," Father Eugene Doussal said during his sermon.

Among those who attended the service was Hayat, who came with her children and husband. "This was basically a message of unity, aside from peace, it was really about unity," she said.

Since the church attack, France's government has been pushing for interfaith unity.

(Reuters)
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