Church Attack in France a Reminder That ISIS Poses Serious Threat to Free Societies Everywhere, ADL Says

New York, NY, July 26, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the terror attack at a church during Mass in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, near Rouen. Two assailants murdered an 86-year-old priest and took several hostages before being killed by French police. The French government has said that the attackers pledged allegiance to ISIS, and that the terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

According to ADL’s Center on Extremism, this incident is the fifth ISIS-related act of violence in Europe during the month of July.

“Terror attacks on places of worship are especially barbarous and this was an attack both on the Catholic community and all of France,” said Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair. “Together with the recent tragedies in Germany and Nice, we are seeing a worrying increase in ISIS-inspired attacks.”

“For many years, synagogues and Jewish institutions have long been targeted by Islamic extremist groups, and mosques are the houses of worship most often targeted by individuals motivated by Islamic extremist ideology,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “This unthinkable tragedy should propel world powers to continue their coordinated efforts to root out the influence of ISIS from its strongholds in Syria and Iraq to the dark corners of the Internet and social media.”

ADL conveyed its sympathy to President Francois Hollande, and offered its deepest condolences to the Catholic community in France and Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.