An attack on a Catholic church in northern France that saw an 84-year-old priest killed is an attack against all religions, the head of the European Jewish Congress said.
Two assailants who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State also critically wounded at least one other person during the July 26 attack in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, a suburb of Rouen about 65 miles northwest of Paris. They shouted “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great” in Arabic, before slitting the priest’s throat, according to reports. The terrorists were shot and killed after taking the priest, two nuns and two parishioners hostage during morning Mass. Following the siege, the Islamic State claimed the two men as its “soldiers.”
“An attack against a religious institution and a man of God is an attack against all religions and faith itself,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, said in a statement following the attack.
“This attack targets us all decent Europeans, Christians, Jews and Muslims alike,” he said.