CHURCHES in England and Wales have been given £2.4million from the Home Office to protect themselves, just hours after the Normandy terror attack.
Father Jacques Hamel, 84, had his throat slashed during an hour-long siege as two knifemen shouting “Allah Akbar” burst into a parish church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, near the northern city of Rouen during morning mass.
Several worshippers were taken hostage and one has been left in a serious condition as it emerged the Catholic church was named on an ISIS hit list last year.
The pro-Islamic State, United Cyber Caliphate, released a new kill list focusing on churches and synagogues earlier this month but it’s unclear if churches in the UK have been made a target.
The Home Office today launched a £2.4m fund to protect churches from hate crimes and attacks with money for extra security measures and equipment.
A spokesman for the Home Office insisted the fund was not launched in response to the Normandy attack but had been planned after religious officials raised concerns over threats to places of worship.
Churches at risk of hate crimes can apply for CCTV, perimeter fencing, access control gates, security doors and alarm systems.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “This Government is determined to build a Britain that works for everyone.
“We are Great Britain because we are united by values such as democracy, free speech, mutual respect and opportunity for all. We are the sum of all our parts – a proud, diverse society. Hatred does not get a seat at the table, and we will do everything we can to stamp it out.”
Father Jacques Hamel was killed in an attack in Normandy
The Church of England has welcomed the Home Office funding
The Church of England has welcomed the funding and maintained church buildings will remain open to all, despite the terror threat.
Prime Minister Theresa May said a terror attack in Britain is highly likely
The Church of England was unable to confirm details of current security measures. … read more