UK: Vicars told ‘don’t wear dog collars in public’ over fears jihadists are planning attacks
Persecution on the rise....
VICARS have been warned by counter-terror chiefs not to wear dog collars in public over fears of an Islamist attack.
New counter-terrorism advice is being urgently issued to vicars and churches across the UK this week over fears an attack on British Christians is now likely.
The new security measures follow the murder of a priest by two Islamic State killers in France last month, amid fears a similar attack could now happen in the UK.
Experts warned a terrorist attack on churches "is coming”.
A document called Counter Terrorism Advice for Churches urged religious leaders to prepare for terror strikes and to be on alert for attackers, who are likely to be armed with knives.
ISIS has threatened Christians before and has launched an effective genocide against the faith in lands it has seized in the Middle East.
Last Sunday Catholic Priest Albert Pandiangan was stabbed during by an ISIS-inspired knifeman during mass in Indonesia - who then tried to detonate an explosive device but failed.
Catholic priest Jacques Hamel, 85, had his throat slit by knife-wielding monsters wearing fake explosive belts when he was taken hostage at his church in Normandy on July 26.
The slaying has prompted guidance to be rewritten for religious institutions in the UK.
Churches in the past were considered low risk - now we know an attack is coming... and churches are one of the easy targets
He told the Mirror: ”Since the French attack we have to look at the possibility of an attack on a church in this country.
The risk level has gone up.
"Churches in the past were considered low risk - now we know an attack is coming... and churches are one of the easy targets.
"It's likely to be a knife - not a machine gun, but we are covering that too."
It reads: "If someone produces weapons during a service (and this will usually be a knife or blunt instrument) then you will need to get people out of the church.
"They are at risk, it only takes seconds for someone to stab a large number of people as we have seen."
The guidilines also advises religious leaders how to handle Sunday School children who may get separated from their parents in the event of an attack.
It adds: "Obviously the safety of children is paramount and understandably the parents will be frantic."
The publication - which is illustrated with images of handguns and AK-47 rifles - stresses the need to respond quickly "to give you the best chance of survival".
It says: "It does not matter whether they have a pistol, rifle or a machine gun. A firearm will kill a large number of people very quickly."
A vicar revealed he was warned by church diocese officials not to wear dog collars in public because it marks clergymen out as a potential target.
He claimed they have also been warned to avoid being in churches on their own.
Since the attack in France anti-terrorism police have warned churches to be on alert.
The Metropolitan Police’s deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu wrote to UK church congregations as a direct response to "the terrible murder of Father Jacques Hamel in France".
In his letter he wrote: "We are again reminded of the indiscriminate nature of terrorism and the brutal and senseless actions of these criminals."
He added: "Church leaders and their congregations here in the UK should remain alert not alarmed.
"There is no current intelligence to suggest any attack planning of this nature in this country.
"However I know these are troubling times and it makes sense for all church leaders to review their security plans and to encourage their flock to be vigilant."