5 Ways We can Respond to News of Terrorism

An American's Perspective after the U.S. Capitol Siege

Capitol Building

By Allison Doolittle (Agape Europe staff member)
Photo by Andy Feliciotti 

Yesterday, we watched the news on television as American rioters rushed into the U.S. Capitol Building. I’m an American and attended university in Washington D.C., so I felt sad and quite angry to see this unfold. I sent messages to college friends who live there and was relieved to hear they were safe. I refreshed the New York Times homepage, hungry for updates.


How can we respond?


Here are five ideas to get us started:

1. Lament

Picture a heroic leader in a palace in the Middle East. He’s strong, but right now, tears are rolling down his face because of oppression, dishonesty and violence. “How long, Lord, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant?” he cries out. We need to lament. Take time to lament the evil you see, hear or read about.


2. Look to God for Absolutes

In a world where people say, “that’s your truth,” many construct a moral code and use it to measure others’ actions. God gives a picture of right and wrong in the Bible that can be your compass.


3. Talk with Others

Rather than posting on social media, look for ways to have real conversations with real people. Maybe with your mum or dad? Schoolmates? A good friend? Try to really listen.


4. Pray

If prayer isn’t usually your thing, that is ok. Now could be a time to start praying. It’s about talking to God. We can be honest with God when we’re sad, angry or overwhelmed by the injustice unfolding around us. I prayed a pretty angry prayer yesterday and I’m comforted knowing God can handle my emotions. Ask God to show you He’s real.


5. Take a Break

Turn off the news, if you can. As an expert on terrorist groups, Gabriel Weimann writes that in terrorist attacks, the victims are often those watching from around the world. That’s why many attacks take place during the day. So, take a break from the onslaught of news for a while.


Many countries have seen unrest in the past. Yesterday was not the first time we’ve experienced this pain. The ideas above can be helpful for navigating many different situations.

As you read the list above, do any of these resonate with you? What guidance would you add to the list?

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