The World Council of Churches has condemned an attack on a German synagogue on Wednesday night with its head describing it as "a brazen display of racist anti-Semitism".

Two people were reportedly killed - one outside the synagogue and another in a nearby kebab shop - and two injured after a heavily armed man turned his weapons on them having previously tried to unsuccessfully force his way into a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle on Wednesday night where up to 80 people were inside observing Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day.

One suspect has reportedly been arrested after a massive manhunt.

A live video of the attack was posted on streaming site Twitch which said it had "worked with urgency" to remove it.

In published comments, Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC, condemned the attack, describing it as "a brazen display of racist anti-Semitism that, sadly, is on the rise in Europe and elsewhere.”

“We are condemning this attack and the white, anti-Semitic, racist and extremists ideology that might motivate this attack. We also emphasise the importance of proper security for all, particularly minorities, in our countries.”

He added: “As brothers and sisters in faith, and as fellow humans, we decry this violence against worshippers peacefully observing their most holy day.  We grieve for the victims of the attack, and we lift up the Jewish community in prayer. Needless to say, this kind of racist violence and hate are repugnant to us, fortifying our resolve to work with Jews and Christians everywhere  to oppose hatred and instill respect for all people.”

Tveit offered "heartfelt prayers" for those affected.

“As a global fellowship of churches, we stand in solidarity with those in Halle who have been attacked in this vicious way while celebrating the holiest day of the year in their faith journey.”