22/11/2015 Songs of Praise


22/11/2015

The Archbishop of Canterbury and Cardinal Vincent Nichols give their reaction to the atrocities in Paris and offer their messages of hope for the future.


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Transcript


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SONGS OF PRAISE FKB B242P/01 BRD000000

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It's been just over a week since so many people lost their lives

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and hundreds more were injured in the terrorist attacks in Paris.

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Shock and sadness has been felt all over the world,

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not least here in London.

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This is the Notre Dame De France church in the heart

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of London's West End, which has become a focal point

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for the French community living here

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and for those wishing to remember and pray.

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In this special Songs Of Praise,

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we hear from one young Parisian

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very personally affected by the attacks.

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I received a text, one of my colleagues, actually,

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telling me that there's been something in Paris again and...

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my stomach just dropped.

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And the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby,

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and Cardinal Vincent Nichols express their anger towards

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those who claim to kill in the name of religion.

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The perversion of faith

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is one of the most desperate aspects of our world today.

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As Pope Francis has said, their actions are a blasphemy against God.

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We also have a wonderful worship song performed by West End star

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Shaun Escoffery, but we begin with a hymn that reminds us of the comfort

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and hope that can be found even in the darkest of days.

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This church is a little bit of France in England

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and as such has shared the pain in Paris personally,

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but the message it's chosen to send out to the world is very much

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the Christian perspective - the words of St Francis of Assisi -

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"Where there is hatred, let me sow love."

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But for some, that's a hard task indeed.

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Until recently, Violette Verite lived and worked

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in the Paris district where the attacks took place.

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I had a pretty long week,

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so I was looking forward to finally

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having a good weekend and sort of

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relaxing and...

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I received a text.

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Someone, one of my colleagues, actually, telling me that

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there's been something in Paris again, and my stomach just dropped.

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I was just doing the catalogue of all my family, friends,

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my uncle, my cousin - just thinking, you know, where can they be?

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Try and get them, turning on the BBC and just, you know,

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getting on the phone with them.

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Trying frantically to call my parents,

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who were not responding, and just sort of watching the news in shock.

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This atrocity affected you very personally.

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Yes, absolutely.

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My former colleagues, they were at the Bataclan, and I think,

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I don't know the details, but I think...

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they went through an ordeal, you know?

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Friends as well who got hurt

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are just coming out of hospital now.

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Are they going to be OK?

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Some of them are coming out of hospital

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and three ex-colleagues are sadly passed away.

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How do you feel towards the perpetrators of these atrocities?

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I really feel sad for them, that they have to...

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..to go through this for whatever faith they have

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or whatever belief they have.

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Just sadness and pity that they would do this,

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you know.

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I went through hate as well, I think,

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but they don't even deserve that energy from us, I think.

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What impact has all this had on you?

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I don't quite know yet. I think

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I will take time to, you know, process this, um...

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It made me really proud to be a Parisian. You know...

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Even here, living in London made me closer to my French friends,

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to my family.

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I think this week we all had an extra hug and extra laugh

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and extra thought for all these people we love.

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I'm going to Paris in two weeks, so I think it will be quite emotional

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as well, to walk the streets.

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# Blood of my Saviour

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# Bathe me in Thy tide

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# Wash me with water

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# Flowing from thy side. #

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Acts of remembrance and solidarity

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have been held all over the world in the past week,

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from public squares to football stadiums -

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vividly, at Wembley on Tuesday.

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THE MARSEILLAISE PLAYS

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But many also turned to the Church and their faith

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for comfort and guidance.

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So we asked the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby,

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and Cardinal Vincent Nichols,

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leader of the Roman Catholic Church

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in England and Wales, for their reflections on the Paris attacks.

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My wife and I lived in Paris for five years...

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and it was one of the happiest places we've lived

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and to think of a place of such

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celebration of life...

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..seeing such suffering is utterly heartbreaking.

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I just kept thinking of people who had gone out for a drink,

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had gone out for a meal, gone out to a football match

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and were not coming home,

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had just been slaughtered.

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And it really has taken me quite a while just to come to terms

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with the reality of what has happened.

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Some people watching this programme will be asking the question,

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where is God? Where is he in all this?

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He's alongside...

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with that...

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..deep involvement in the suffering and pain of the world

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that took him to the cross.

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Often, our society looks on faith as a problem,

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but in moments like this, we have to recover our sense

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of living in the presence of God and see that as a great strength.

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NOTRE DAME'S BELL TOLLS

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Do you ever doubt?

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Oh, gosh, yes.

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Does something like this happening ever, you know,

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-put a chink in your armour?

-Yes.

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Saturday morning,

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I was out

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and as I was walking, I was praying...

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..and saying, "God, why are you...? Where are...?

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"Why is this happening? Where are you in all this?"

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And then engaging and talking to God. Yes, I doubt.

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What answers did he give you?

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He said... In the middle of it.

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And also an answer from the Psalm - Psalm 56 -

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he stores up our tears in a bottle. None of our sufferings are lost.

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I think the purpose that terrorists have in mind is first of all

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to make us live in fear,

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secondly, to breed hatred within us,

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and thirdly and consequently,

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to strike at divisions in our society,

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to split us apart.

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I think I have been trying to express

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the importance of resisting those three things.

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The terrorists of course believe they're doing all this

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to glorify their god.

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Religion is so powerful in the way humans behave that it has

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always been a tool used by the wicked

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to twist people into doing what they want them to do.

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Yes, they do believe that.

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But just because someone believes something deeply wrong,

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it doesn't mean that they are right, in some strange way,

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because they put God in it.

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The perversion of faith is one of the most desperate aspects

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of our world today.

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I think their intention is completely distorted

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in terms of any claim over a religious motive.

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And as Pope Francis has said, their actions are a blasphemy against God.

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So rather than ever with any rationality or validity

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claiming to act in the name of God,

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this is absolute blasphemy

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for everything that God stands for.

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Just round the corner from the Notre Dame church

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is London's bustling Theatreland.

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Coming up, we'll be meeting one of its stars, Shaun Escoffery.

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He'll be talking about his faith

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and also lending his voice to a great song of praise.

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But first, here's a hymn that could well be a suitable prayer

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for a time at this.

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Singer-songwriter Shaun Escoffery is an acclaimed recording artist

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and West End star of the Lion King,

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but it's his faith that underpins his life and career.

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We caught up with him at the Hackney Empire in London

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during rehearsals for a very special performance for Songs Of Praise.

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I started going to church when I was, what?

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Quite late in my teens, actually.

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Subsequently, I got involved

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in the kind of worship group

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side of things.

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That's when I really started to learn to sing.

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Obviously, I wanted it to sound nice,

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but it was more expressing yourself to the inexpressible.

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# A ray of hope

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# Flickers in the sky... #

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You know, God is this being that's just beyond us,

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beyond our thoughts and imagination, you know - creator of all things.

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Every time I think about it, my mind blows.

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So you can imagine trying to express yourself, your admiration,

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your love for a being of such grandeur -

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you start to push yourself vocally

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and so I kind of started to learn to sing then.

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That's when it started to happen for me.

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Mufasa's this deep character

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and there's so much to explore with that, you know?

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And also, just being a warrior,

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he's strong,

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he's immensely strong,

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immensely powerful, but has a real meekness about him as well,

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so just encompassing all of that.

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I'm thinking, "My King is like that."

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As an actor, and as a singer,

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my faith does play a part in what parts I take.

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Because when you're performing, you want to be as true

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and as real as possible

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and so if I feel I can't do that,

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then I'm cheating myself, I'm cheating the audience and I'm...

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You know,

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someone else could come along and do it a lot better than I could.

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So yes, it's very important to me.

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I've chosen to sing Agnus Dei.

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That song for me is just...

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It always gets me, it always touches me

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and it's literally just a song of expression again.

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Hallelujah to the King.

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It just encompasses that relationship between God and man,

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that really intimate relationship.

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It's big. With the choir singing behind it, it's just wonderful.

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It's a wonderful song. It means so much to me.

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# Alleluia

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# Alleluia

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# For the Lord God Almighty reigns

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# ALL: Alleluia

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# ALL: Alleluia

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# For the Lord God Almighty reigns

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# ALL: Alleluia

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# Holy

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# Holy

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# Are you Lord God Almighty?

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# Worthy is the Lamb

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# Worthy is the Lamb

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# You are Holy

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# Holy

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# Are you Lord God Almighty?

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# Worthy is the Lamb

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# Worthy is the Lamb

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# Amen

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# Alleluia

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# Alleluia

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# Alleluia

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# For the Lord God Almighty reigns

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# Alleluia

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# Alleluia

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# Holy

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# Holy

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# Are you Lord God Almighty?

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# Are You Lord God

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-# Almighty

-Almighty

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# Worthy is the Lamb

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# Worthy is the Lamb

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# Worthy is the Lamb

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# You are Holy

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# Holy Lord

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-# Holy

-Holy Lord

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# Are you Lord God Almighty?

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# Yeah

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# Worthy is the Lamb

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-# Worthy is the Lamb

-Worthy is the Lamb

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ALL: # Amen. #

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Amen.

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# Worthy is the Lamb. #

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Muslim groups in France have been quick to condemn the atrocities.

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With me now is Ibrahim Mogra

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from the Muslim Council of Great Britain,

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who described the violence as horrific and abhorrent.

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What went through your mind

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when you heard of the events unfolding in Paris?

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Absolute shock. What made it worse

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was that these perpetrators

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claimed to have done it in the name of God - far from it.

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This was Satan's work and they did the bidding of the devil.

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Islam totally condemns this kind of murderous atrocities,

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wherever they take place and our thoughts

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and our prayers are with those who have lost their loved ones.

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These terrorists who carry out these murders will have to pay

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for their crimes in this world and also in the hereafter,

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and that's very categorically stated within the Koran

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and within Muslim law.

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What impact has it had on the Muslim community here in Great Britain?

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We distance ourselves totally from their actions and we hope

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and pray that our fellow Britons will make that distinction

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and will stand with us in solidarity.

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It's a very lonely place to be in when our fellow Britons,

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if they begin to see us as the enemy within, where do we go?

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It's very important for us to stand in solidarity.

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Let's return now to our interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury

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and Cardinal Vincent Nichols to hear their views as Christians

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on how we should be dealing with the threat presented by terrorists,

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and their hopes for the future.

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Terrorists and those who persecute

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and belittle people in the most

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terrible ways have to be stopped.

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The judgment of how best to stop them is a political and a military

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judgment, but there is no doubt that strong action has to be taken.

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Instant reaction is that we wanted an eye for an eye.

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Of course, and I know that, I feel that as well.

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But two injustices don't make justice.

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If we start randomly killing those who are...

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Who have not done wrong... That's not going to provide solutions.

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So governments have to be the means of justice -

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the Bible tells us that they are put there by God

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with the sword as...

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For justice.

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But they also have to lead us into a place

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where peace can be established.

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There was one line in a newspaper

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that said terrorists came to shed blood,

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Parisians stood in line to give blood.

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So evil brings out goodness in us

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and we should be solid in our commitment to each other

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to stand in the face of this evil

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and to draw deeply on our most profound motivations

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to resist this push towards division and hatred and revenge

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and to stand together to build in justice a society

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that is respectful of each other and peaceful in its intent.

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What we know is that we come back to a God whose arms are always open

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and whose welcome is always there

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and who hears our hatreds, our bitterness, our failure,

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our sorrow, our grief, our questioning...

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..without judging us for them,

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but in unconditional love to us

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and wanting us to be the answer to the questions we pose.

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On social media sites around the world and on many makeshift shrines

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in the French capital, one poignant phrase stood out - pray for Paris.

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Let us do just that.

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Notre pere qui es aux cieux,

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que ton nom soit sanctifie...

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..que ton regne vienne...

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..que ta volonte soit faite

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sur la terre comme au ciel.

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Donne-nous aujourd'hui notre pain de ce jour.

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Pardonne-nous nos offenses...

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..comme nous pardonnons aussi a ceux qui nous ont offenses.

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Et ne nous soumets pas a la tentation...

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..mais delivre-nous du Mal.

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Amen.

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Amen.

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