Admin l Sunday, March 19, 2023
GERMANY – Hamburg churches are holding an ecumenical service on Sunday to commemorate the multiple deaths 10 days ago when a man opened fire at a Jehovah’s Witness place of worship.
In the incident on March 9, a man, identified as Philipp F under German privacy laws, killed four men, two women, a 7-month old foetus and himself.
Sunday’s event in the Church of Saint Peter in the northern German city is being organized by the Lutheran Church and is intended as an occasion of mourning for the emergency services and police officers called out to attend the shooting, as well as for local residents.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Hamburg and the ecumenical community of Christian Churches are to join the event, along with Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher.
The organizers stressed that it was not intended to replace the funeral services for the Jehovah’s Witnesses members caught up in the shooting. The city’s Jehovah’s Witnesses have expressed support for the event, but will hold their own services in line with their Christian principles.
The adults killed were between 33 and 60 years old. The mother of the unborn 28-week-old foetus survived, but was severely injured.
An overall eight people were injured, four of them severely, in the attack at the place of worship, known as a Kingdom Hall.
The 35-year-old assailant was a sports shooter who had previously been a member of the religious community. He had purchased the semi-automatic pistol he used in the attack legally.