ST.-ÉTIENNE-DU-ROUVRAY, France — It was the first time since a childhood school trip that Anissa Latroche had set foot in a church.
“They welcomed us very nicely, me and my friend,” said Ms. Latroche, who was wearing a pale blue veil as she entered the church with a mixture of respect and shyness.
“I have not even started my life yet, and he basically ruined his and so many others’,” Ms. Latroche said. “I don’t get it.”
In the wake of Father Hamel’s murder, Muslim and Christian communities around France came together over the weekend to show solidarity by attending each other’s religious services, in churches and mosques alike.
For people in this part of Normandy, the exchange served as a reminder that long before Father Hamel was killed, he and many others from both faiths had worked together to build bonds. In fact, the only mosque in St.-Étienne-du-Rouvray was built on land adjacent to one of the town’s churches after the church sold it for a symbolic price of one euro.