London Bombs, Glasgow Attack Spur Calls for Prayer

LONDON – Prayers were lifted up from churches and Christian leaders across the United Kingdom following the foiled car bomb attacks in London on Friday and the attack on Glasgow Airport on Saturday.

Bishop Philip Tartaglia, the Roman Catholic bishop of Paisley, Scotland, in whose diocese Glasgow Airport is situated, issued a statement yesterday from Lourdes in France where he is on a Diocesan pilgrimage.

"I am deeply saddened at the news of the attack on Glasgow Airport," Tartaglia stated. "I commend the swift action of the police and security staff on the scene and welcome the fact that injury to passengers and airport employees was avoided.

"My prayers are with all the staff as they return to work over the next few days and with the passengers who will use the terminal as the building reopens," the bishop added. "The Diocese of Paisley will be glad to assist the airport operator in any way possible in the weeks and months ahead."

On Saturday, two men described by witnesses as South Asian – a term used to refer to people from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries in the region – drove a burning jeep into the main terminal doors of Glasgow Airport, one day after two car bombs were foiled in Central London. The police say the attacks in London and Glasgow are linked.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown raised the state of security alert in Britain to "critical" following the Glasgow airport attack, indicating that a terrorist attack is thought to be "imminent."

Glasgow Airport, which sustained some fire damage from the attack, was closed on Saturday and flights were cancelled. It has since re-opened, although cars are no longer allowed to drive directly in front of the main terminal doors.

"Today security levels in our country are at their highest level," noted the Most Rev. Vincent Nichols, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Birmingham, England. "In this situation I remind Catholics of our custom of praying for a safe journey. I encourage Catholics and people of other faiths to ask God's special protection for all who travel.

"I also ask people to be particularly vigilant for the safety of all around them." Nichols added.

According to reports, the number of police patrolling the streets of London has now been stepped up and officers will conduct random searches on cars approaching major rail stations.

Prime Minister Brown said in a televised statement from Downing Street on Saturday night: "I want all people to be vigilant and support police in light of the difficult decisions they have to make.

"I know the British people will stand together, united, resolute and strong," he added.

Christian Post correspondent Kevin Donovan in London contributed to this report.