Washington, DC (BWA)--The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) has sent a letter of solidarity to Baptists in Norway on the recent mass killings in that country that claimed at least 76 civilian lives.
On July 22, a right wing extremist bombed a government building in Oslo, Norway's capital, killing at least eight persons and shot to death at least 68 young people at a youth camp on an island. Many others were injured in both attacks.
BWA General Secretary Neville Callam expressed sadness at "the senseless loss of life" in a country that has "provided a model of peaceful co-existence." The BWA, he said, was shocked at the tragedy. The hearts of Baptists, Callam said, go out to those who mourn.
"We are grateful for your letter of solidarity, condolence and prayer for the Norwegian people," Terje Aadne, general secretary of the Baptist Union of Norway, wrote to Callam. Aadne said the country had "experienced a most horrible attack on human life, on our government, and our nation," and told Callam that "your greetings to us as fellow believers and to our nation warms our hearts and truly reflects God's fellowship and love to us in a time such as this."
Callam, in his letter, assured Baptists in the Scandinavian country that "Baptists around the world, together with other people of goodwill, are holding you all in our prayer," particularly for those who lost loved ones, who were physically injured, and those who were traumatized by the mass murder.
The BWA leader expressed his hope that peace will reign in the face of such "terror of pointless violence," and urged Norwegians to remain firm and strong "as a democratic, peace loving country."
"In the midst of your mourning, may you never forget that 'the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end'" (Lamentations 3:22), Callam said.