Church Bells In Europe Ring Death Toll For Aleppo Victims

Antje Jackelen, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden, today announced that Uppsala CathedralReuters

Church bells are tolling across parts of Europe in tribute to the thousands of innocent victims being slaughtered in the ceaseless bombing of Aleppo in Syria.

More than 200 churches in Finland are tolling their bells daily at 5pm. They will continue to do so for 12 days as many adults, including dozens of children, die in the bombs and the rubble in the city.

Kallio church in Helsinki began the tolling, according to the BBC. The Finnish Church in London has joined in. 

Uppsala Cathedral in Sweden has now announced it is joining the daily toll.

Archbishop of Sweden Antje Jackelén and cathedral dean Annica Anderbrant said in a joint statement: "We become desperate and helpless when we learn of the stories about the situation in Aleppo and other places in Syria - the fate of the children, hospitals in impossible working situations, innocent civilians who suffer.

"When impotence is greatest, it is important to gather in prayer."

Uppsala Cathedral bells are tolling "to call as a call for people to stay up in prayer for the people of Syria and for peace."

The toll is timed for when people finish work, and to lead up to United Nations Day on Monday, October 24th.

The BBC quoted Dr Teemu Laajasalo, vicar of Kallio parish, as saying: "Funeral bells are tolled when the body is carried out of the church after the service. There is a war crime happening in Aleppo and endless funerals.

"When you see those images where mothers and fathers dig for their dead babies and children in the concrete dust from the ruins - if this isn't enough of a reason to ring the bells, then what is?

"The 5pm bell-ringing is definitely a funeral toll. The symbolic meaning is that probably, in Aleppo's non-stop funeral, at that particular time they are carrying bodies to be buried."

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