Amanda is a longtime reader and lurker on BCC. She received a BA in French from Yale University and now lives in a Paris suburb with her husband Didier and son James. She is currently working on a law degree while working in a law firm in Paris. We have been shocked by this and other recent attacks by religious extremists around the world, and mourn with Paris, the West Bank, Egypt, Nairobi, Nigeria, Bangkok… and the list continues.

For the second time this year, my country is reeling under the shock and grief of a terrorist attack.

This weekend, Paris is empty. Stores, cinemas and monuments are closed and we’ve been asked not to assemble in the streets or leave our homes unless necessary. As we hear the news, we are indignant. When did going out for drink on the terrasse become dangerous? Why does attending a concert make us a target? We are waiting for our president to do something. We cannot do nothing.

We are touched by the gestures of solidarity and support that have come from all over the world. Please continue praying, not only for the victims’ families, but also for those who are caring for the injured and cleaning the streets. We have several national police officers in our ward whose pews were empty this morning, as more and more have been called to reinforce security and protect our streets. Please pray for them and their families.

I have a lot of hope for our future and for our capacity to overcome this tragedy. My fear, however, is that fear, hate and bigotry will poison us along the way. Anti-immigrant, anti-outsider, islamophobic factions have increased in number and influence the past few years, even among members of the Church, and I am afraid that these attacks will only add fuel to the fire. There is no easy solution and we may be headed for war, but in our fervor, we mustn’t confuse the innocent with the enemy.

I ask my brothers and sisters in the Gospel to pray for peace, compassion and understanding in France.


  1. Am doing and will continue.

  2. And add Lebanon to the list as well.

    We lack tools to deal with daesh. And yet we helped to create this monster.

  3. Add Russia too? Vaguely remember seeing they lost a plane full of people.

  4. Thanks for this heartfelt piece, Amanda. You & Didier were two of the first people we thought of when we heard the news. Miss you and sending you much love from the States.

  5. Thanks for your warm words, Amanda. I appreciate the encouragement to not let our emotional responses to these incidents overwhelm our commitment to compassion. Also glad to hear you are safe!