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Prayers for Boston bombing victims: The Church of England Newspaper, April 29, 2013 May 1, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Terrorism, The Episcopal Church.

U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to a congregation of over 2000 last week at Boston’s Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Cross to commemorate those killed and wounded in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Boston “will run again” the president said on 18 April 2013. “If they sought to intimidate us, to terrorize us … It should be pretty clear right now that they picked the wrong city … .”

On 15 April – celebrated as Patriots’ Day in Boston — two explosions ripped through a crowd near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killing three and injuring more than 170. “We may be momentarily knocked off our feet,” the president said. “But we’ll pick ourselves up. We’ll keep going. We will finish the race.”

President Obama called the then as yet unidentified terrorists “small, stunted individuals who would destroy instead of build, and think somehow that makes them important.”

“Yes, we will find you. And, yes, you will face justice. We will find you. We will hold you accountable,” the president said.

That evening one of the suspected bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, (26) was killed in a shootout with police in Watertown a western suburb of Boston. Earlier that night Tsarnaev and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (19) shot and killed a policeman. During the firefight that later ensued a second policeman was shot and gravely wounded.

Dzhokhar fled the scene of the shootout and Gov. Deval Patrick ordered a curfew for Watertown as police began a house to house search. Dzhokhar was captured the next day after a man found the fugitive hiding in a boat parked on the trailer behind his home.

The two bombers have been identified as Chechen immigrants to the United States and initial reports indicate that they had become radicalized Islamists in the past few years. The Tsarnaev brothers attended prayer services at the Islamic Society of Boston Cambridge Masjid, a small mosque near their apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

“In their visits, they never exhibited any violent sentiments or behavior,” said a statement from the masjid. “Otherwise they would have been immediately reported to the FBI. After we learned of their identities, we encouraged anyone who knew them in our congregation to immediately report to law enforcement, which has taken place.”

Trinity Church Copley Square, an Episcopal Church 300 yards from the Boston Marathon’s finish line, had been closed for the race and remains closed as police investigate the crime scene. The church’s rector, the Rev.  Patrick  Ward, told Episcopal News Service he was “hugely relieved” to learn the church’s team of runners was safe.

The Archdiocese of Boston’s Cardinal Seán O’Malley sent a message from Israel following the attacks saying he would be returning to join the city’s faith community “to witness the greater power of good in our society and to work together for healing.” The Vatican sent a telegram to the archdiocese, saying Pope Francis “prays that all Bostonians will be united in a resolve not to be overcome by evil, but to combat evil with good.”

Following the blast the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Katharine Jefferts Schori offered a prayer for those killed and injured as did the Anglican Church in North America. “As we pray for those affected by the bombings in Boston, MA, it seems appropriate to pray for the reign of Christ in this situation. May the Lord pour out His Spirit of peace during this time of chaos and violence.”

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