Police last night warned Britain’s Christians to be on alert amid fears they could be targeted by Islamic State jihadists.
Security was increased at the country’s 47,000 churches after an 84-year-old priest was beheaded by Muslim fanatics in France. The killing in Normandy was the first known attack claimed by IS inside a church in the West after compiling a hitlist of places of Christian worship.
Adel Kermiche, one of the two French teenagers killed by police after carrying out the morning slaughter – filmed on a mobile phone – told a friend two months ago: ‘I’m going to do a church.’
Last night counter-terror police in Britain disclosed they had ‘circulated specific advice’ to places of worship.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: ‘Following recent events in France, we are reiterating our protective security advice to Christian places of worship and have circulated specific advice today. We are also taking this opportunity to remind them to review their security arrangements as a precaution.
There you have your new normal. Churches need to “review their security arrangements”.
Officials are quick to stress that there is no specific intelligence that would indicate a threat. Just the general sense of malaise that the entire world is falling apart. OK, that last line was me.
This does raise the question, however, of exactly what a church’s security requirements should be. Christian churches are generally open, welcoming places to strangers. They aren’t exactly checking IDs at the doors. Do we need to move to a hired security model of worship? I’m almost afraid to speculate publicly like that. In recent years it seems that every time I wonder aloud at just how ridiculous things can become they then become just that ridiculous.
With regards to Islamic terrorism, it all seems to be spinning out of control at a dizzying pace. Given the typical reactions of most Western leaders, there is absolutely no reason to believe that’s not going to get a lot worse before it gets better.