Churches in Britain have been told to tighten security after the murder of an 85-year-old priest in Normandy on Monday.
The heightened state of security comes as images threatening attacks in London and other major world capitals were posted on jihadi messaging app Telegram, according to SITE Intelligence Group.
Despite there being no specific intelligence relating to attacks against the Christian community in the UK, the National Police Chiefs’ Council is urging the community to be alert but not alarmed, report concerns and review their security as a precaution.
Neil Basu, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, said: “There is no specific intelligence relating to attacks against the Christian community in the UK. However, as we have seen, Daesh and other terrorist groups have targeted Christian as well as Jewish and other faith groups in the West and beyond.
“Following recent events in France, we are reiterating our protective security advice to Christian places of worship and have circulated specific advice today. We are also taking this opportunity to remind them to review their security arrangements as a precaution.”
“While the threat from terrorism remains unchanged at severe we urge the public to be vigilant.”
Following the attack, religious leaders, including those from the Muslim community, have issued messages of sympathy and solidarity in the wake of the killing.
“Evil attacks the weakest, denies truth and love, is defeated through Jesus Christ. Pray for France, for victims, for their communities,” Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said.
In a statement, the Vatican said Pope Francis shared the “sorrow and horror” felt over the incident.
It added: “We are particularly struck because this horrible violence has occurred in a church – a sacred place where we pronounce God’s love – with the barbaric murder of a priest and worshippers affected.”