PA Wire

Brussels minister fears churches could be targeted

Tue 22 Mar 2016
By Antony Bushfield

A church minister in Brussels has told Premier there is "an element of fear" in holding prayer services following the bomb attacks there.

Revd Dr Andrew Gardener, from St Andrew's Church of Scotland in Brussels said he was "not sure" about opening the church because of possible attacks.

"There's an element of fear [that] people who you wouldn't want to know that you're gathering would turn up and target those of us who are gathered," he said.

At least 23 are feared dead and many more were injured after terrorist bomb attacks on the main airport and Metro system in Brussels.

The coordinated attacks came as the Belgian capital was on a high level of alert following the arrest of Paris atrocity suspect Salah Abdeslam in the city last week.

There were unconfirmed reports of shots being fired and shouting in Arabic at the airport in what Belgian media said was a suicide attack.

Revd Dr Gardener added: "The airport is my second home sometimes.

"This is a place that many of the people in my congregation know very well, and it will raise huge amounts of fear among the ex-pat community as a whole.

"Easter as you know is a prime point in celebration in the Christian calendar and our Easter celebrations will be sobering this Sunday."

Revd Dr Andrew Gardener speaking to Premier's Aaron James:

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