Seventh-day Adventists in the Inter-European Division expressed solidarity and sympathy after a New Year’s Eve nightclub shooting rampage in Istanbul, Turkey's Ortakoy district killed at least 39 people and left dozens more wounded.
Government officials in Turkey have said the attack was an act of terrorism, and while the alleged gunman has been identified, he had not been apprehended as this article was published.
178,380 baptized members are among those worshipping in 2,550 congregations in the region
"We still have in our minds the scenes of Berlin’s attack and now, again, our hearts are full of sadness for the people in Istanbul, for those who died, for those who are in hospitals, for the families whose loved ones were injured or killed,” said Mario Brito, an Adventist pastor and Inter-European region church president. "They remain in our prayers,” he added.
Brito said, “Seventh-day Adventists in Europe and all over the world, stand with the families who lost their cherished family members. We are thinking of you and praying for you."
“As we already stated for the several horrific terrorist attack that have shaken Europe, and not only, in this last year, we firmly condemn these aggressors' cruelty. We cannot accept such disrespect towards human life and human dignity. We abhor such hideous violence. We pray that our Lord may console the families who lost their beloved ones, healing those who are recovering," Brito noted.
Seventh-day Adventists in the Inter-European region have had to confront a series of terrorist attacks over the past year. Belgium and France have been the scenes of terrorist attacks in 2016, and in the most recent attack in the area, shoppers at an outdoor Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, were targeted.
According to the online version of the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 178,380 baptized members are among those worshipping in 2,550 congregations in the region.