The area’s leading clergyman wants Christians to show they are against Islamic State.
Anglican Bishop the Rt Rev. Julian Henderson wants Twitter users to follow his example to show support for persecuted Christians and minorities in Iraq and the Middle East by using the hashtag #WeAreN
He has written to every parish in the diocese urging churchgoers to tweet and pray for peace, and a new Church of England poster promoting the Twitter message now has pride of place in the window of Bishop’s House in the Ribble Valley.
The poster features the Arabic letter ‘n’ which is being daubed on the homes of Christians (often called “Nasrani”in Arabic) in areas taken over by Islamic State fighters. The symbol marks the occupants out for persecution and even execution.
Bishop Julian, Bishop of Blackburn, said: “In view of the dreadful and shocking situation in the Middle East I urge us all to pray for peace and a cessation of violence, recognising the need not only for effective humanitarian relief but also for freedom and justice.
“I want us to pray for wisdom for all political leaders who have the responsibility of working out how to handle these difficult and delicate issues.
“As Christian brothers and sisters we have a responsibility to care for and pray for persecuted Christians – but also for all those of whatever religion or ethnic grouping who are innocent victims of violent aggression at this time, especially in Gaza, Israel, Syria, and Iraq.
“I am sure we are all shocked by the barbaric violence exercised by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq.
“Their advance needs to be halted and the perpetrators of genocide brought to justice. As the Archbishop of Canterbury recently stated – these are `evil` acts.”
Blackburn Cathedral is having a prayer time for peace every Wednesday at 10-30am.