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    Ring the Alarm: UK Churches on High Alert After Priest Murder in France

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    Churches in the UK have urged a review of their security following the recent terrorist attack in France. The Home Office has also announced that they will put $2.4m into aiding security in places of worship.

    Specific advice has been issued by the police to the estimated 47,000 churches in Britain on security measures.

    The church has always exercised an "open door" policy allowing congregation members to visit their priests and discuss confidential issues. However, the attack in France has left many churches feeling that perhaps current security measures are not good enough.

    While there are no specific threats to the UK's Christian community, churchgoers should be alert, according to the police advice which was sent out on Tuesday 26th July.

    A spokesman for the Church of England (CoE) said that the attack has affected everyone; however, the advice is to be alert and not alarmed.

    "We pray for everyone affected by today's events in France. Church buildings are public buildings that are open to all. Where there are known risks, churches take measures to ensure the safety and security of worshippers and visitors," a spokesman for the CoE told Sputnik.

    The Home Office and the police issued a clear warning for churches to be alert and aware of any security risks to leaders as well as congregation members.

    "As we have seen, Daesh and other terrorist groups have targeted Christian as well as Jewish and other faith groups in the west and beyond. Following recent events in France, we are reiterating our protective security advice to Christian places of worship and have circulated specific advice today," Neil Basu, the Metropolitan police's deputy assistant commissioner said in a recent interview.

    A Muslim who walks past the church Sainte Therese in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen in Normandy, France, July 27, 2016.
    © REUTERS /
    A Muslim who walks past the church Sainte Therese in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen in Normandy, France, July 27, 2016.

    "We are also taking this opportunity to remind them to review their security arrangements as a precaution. While the threat from terrorism remains unchanged at severe, we urge the public to be vigilant," Basu said.

    "Be alert and not alarmed and report any suspicious activity. The UK police service is working tirelessly with our partners to confront the threat and protect all our communities."

    The CoE said that the additional funding from the Home Office to help with security will no doubt benefit all faith communities.

    "We welcome the Home Office announcement today of funding for security measures for places of worship, which will benefit all faith communities. All public ministry involves being vulnerable to others, so security measures are good sense in uncertain times," a spokesman for the CoE told Sputnik.

    Related:

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    French PM Slams Security Services for Poor Normandy Church Attacker Monitoring
    Turkey Notified France of Normandy Attack Perpetrator Profile in 2015
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    worship, Church, Hate Crime, community, religion, prayer, faith, attack, security, UK Home Office, United Kingdom, France