US CHRISTIAN LEADERS CALL FOR PRAYER, UNITY AFTER FIVE POLICE KILLED

9th July, 2016

Christian leaders in the US have called for prayer after five police officers were killed and seven others wounded along with two civilians on Thursday night in an ambush which represented the deadliest incident for US law enforcement since September 11.

The attack, which ended when a single gunman was killed when a police bomb squad robot detonated a device near him, took place during a protest against police brutality. The protest had been sparked by the fatal shooting of two African-American men in two separate incidents in the US earlier this week.

Rev Franklin Graham was among those Christian leaders who called for prayer for healing in Dallas, adding that the the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association had deployed help to the city in the wake of the attack.

TD Jakes, who is pastor at Dallas megachurch Potter's House in Dallas, said it was a moment when the church "could stand united" and said he grieved and longed for the day when people were "united not by the colour of our skin but the content of our character and of our hearts".

Catholic Bishop Kevin J Farrell of Dallas said in a blog post on Friday that "all lives matter: black, white, Muslim, Christian, Hindu. We are all children of God and all human life is precious". He called for people to "implore God" to "touch the hearts and minds of all people to work together for peace and understanding".

An inter-faith prayer service was held in Dallas' Thanks-Giving Square on Friday for the victims of the shootings and their families.

US President Barack Obama said earlier the nation had been "horrified" by what he called a "vicious, calculated and depicable attack on law enforcement". The President, who is cutting short a visit to Europe, is expected to visit Dallas next week.

- DAVID ADAMS


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