The Leader of the German Protestant Church, Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, issued the following statement shortly after the 19th December terrorist lorry attack in Berlin's city centre, which left 12 dead and 56 injured:
We are all shaken by the attack in Berlin, which took so many innocent lives. Our thoughts now go out to the relatives of the victims and to those in hospital. We can only try to imagine their sense of horror and despair.
The attack took place at a Christmas market. A place where people buy gifts for their nearest and dearest. This stands for a culture of life, a culture of shared humanity, of mutual attention and for confidence.
I want to be clear: We will not allow this confidence, this culture of shared humanity to be destroyed by these acts of brutality. We will not allow an atmosphere of fear, of hate, of distrust to spread in our country. We will not do violent criminals this favour.
Perhaps we will listen particularly intently to the Christmas message... It tells of a child in a manger, who as an adult - Jesus of Nazareth - dies on the cross as a victim of violence. And is raised from the dead. Violence does not have the last word. Life is triumphant. And that is why we will sing our Christmas carols all the more heartily this year, perhaps defiantly as well.
Our confidence will not be taken away, for we know that "the light shines in the darkness" - and "the darkness will not overcome it". [EKD News]