More tributes after New Zealand terror attacks

Since the attack on worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, took place place on Friday, we have received many tributes, prayers and messages of condolence and solidarity.

The Archbishop of Cardiff, Rt Rev George Stack writes:

Having recently spent some days with Cardinal John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington New Zealand, at a meeting of ICEL in Rome, Archbishop George Stack of Cardiff was able to convey to him in a personal message the shock and sadness of the people of Wales at the outrageous attacks on the two mosques in Christchurch. He asked Cardinal Dew to convey to the Immams of those mosques and all who have been traumatised by these atrocities our sympathy and prayers for those who died, for those who have been injured and for those who have been bereaved. The Archbishop said: "That such violence should have occurred whilst people were attending prayer and worship compounds the tragedy and calls for an ever deeper understanding and reconciliation amongst the many different communities which make up our cosmopolitan world".

Catholic Bishops of Canada

Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters,

On behalf of the Catholic Bishops of Canada, I wish to extend to you our deepest condolences and assure you of our solidarity and support during this terrifying time. On the evening of 14 March, we learned about the horrendous shootings which took place at both Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque, in Christchurch New Zealand, during Friday prayer, a time of worship and peace disrupted by violence and hate. We are horrified that the attack injured and killed so many people, and left behind a feeling of fear and uncertainty in your homes and places of worship. For Canadians, and especially Muslim Canadians, this act of horrific violence is a painful reminder to the shooting which took place 29 January 2017 at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec, in Canada.

As the Muslim communities and the entire population of New Zealand mourn the dead and care for the injured, the Catholic community of Canada extends to you its fraternal proximity and assurance of prayers and support.

The Catholic Bishops of Canada reiterate the sentiments of peace and love so beautifully expressed by The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb and His Holiness Pope Francis, on 4 February 2019, when they declared together:

May God Almighty grant you mercy and compassion in abundance. Sincerely yours,

+Lionel Gendron, PSS
Bishops of St-Jean-Longueuil and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

Quakers in Britain

Quakers in Britain are upholding and praying for all affected by the terrorist attack in Christchurch.

Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain, said: "We condemn all acts of violence. We stand in love and solidarity with the Muslim community in New Zealand and around the world. We all have a role to play in challenging hate."

Faith communities are showing solidarity today in London and across the country. Quakers are joining faith leaders meeting at East London Mosque to provide an important message: they will not be divided.

World Council of Churches

WCC condemns terror attacks on mosques in New Zealand, calls for end to violence

It is with deep shock and indignation that World Council of Churches (WCC) received the news that 49 people have been killed and at least 20 were wounded in terrorist attacks at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch and at the mosque in the suburb of Linwood in New Zealand.

Rev Ray Coster, WCC Central Committee member from Aotearoa New Zealand said: "We share with sisters and brothers in the wider ecumenical family our pain and grief in one of New Zealand's darkest hours and crave their prayers for the many Muslim families grieving at this time. Some of these families may be migrants or refugees. They are part of us. Many came seeking refuge and safety as Aotearoa New Zealand is perceived as a safe place. As a nation we value compassion, kindness and tolerance. What we have seen today has no place in our culture."

Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC, stated: "This terrible crime against women, men and children at the time of their prayers is an attack on all believers and an assault on the bonds of shared humanity and peaceful coexistence which unite us all. The WCC stands in solidarity with all Muslims at this time, especially the Muslims of Aotearoa New Zealand, and expresses the strongest possible condemnation of these actions and of the hateful and dangerous ideologies that stand behind them."

Tveit expressed his deep condolences to the Muslim community, and all the people of Aotearoa New Zealand, for this massacre is an attack on the whole nation and its values of inclusion and respect for all its citizens. He added: "We pray that all the communities of Aotearoa New Zealand will come together to support those who have suffered so dreadfully and to reaffirm the nation's commitment to the safety and flourishing of all its people".

Tveit concluded: "At this time the WCC reiterates its long-standing commitment to dialogue and harmony with the Muslim communities of the world. We affirm to all our Muslim friends and partners that we utterly reject such actions and call on all Christian people to follow in the way of Jesus Christ by seeking to live in peace and respect with all our neighbours, and especially committing ourselves to the protection of vulnerable minorities."

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas hold our Muslim sisters and brothers around the world, and the people and our Sisters of Mercy in New Zealand, in prayerful solidarity.

The attack in New Zealand was grounded in hatred, racism, xenophobia and islamophobia-none of which have a place in our world. We have become all too familiar with these acts as the tide of violence continues.

As people of faith, it is imperative that we unite in calling for an end to white supremacist and anti-immigrant views which sow fear and embolden these acts of terror. As we struggle with what concrete response we can make, it is our role to be sure that American Muslims feel the support of their neighbors in the midst of this climate of hate. We must show up for our Muslim neighbors.

We are one people in the eyes of God. There is no place for these ideologies that seek only to divide. We strongly believe that an approach of education, acceptance and active nonviolence is the answer.

We hold fast to the truth that houses of worship should, and always will be, places of peace and safety.

No act of terror will take that away.

Missionary Society of St Columban

To Muslims in Aotearoa/New Zealand and around the world

The Missionary Society of St Columban condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attacks which unfolded in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday, March 15, 2019 when 49 worshippers were brutally murdered and many more injured.

We reiterate the sentiments of the Catholic Bishops of New Zealand in their message of solidarity with the Muslim community of Aotearoa New Zealand at this very difficult time, "we wish you to be aware of our solidarity with you in the face of such violence".

We also join with Pope Francis in sending condolences to the victims and their loved ones. He said he was "deeply saddened by such senseless acts of violence and assured all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity.

The Columban interfaith plan of action states that "interreligious dialogue (IRD) is now recognised as an integral part of who we are and of the way we engage in mission"; we continue to commit ourselves to work with people of other faiths and none to build up a fairer, better and peaceful world.

We condemn all forms of violence, extremism and terror; we pray for all those killed and injured in the attacks on the Friday prayers in Christchurch, their families and friends and all affected by this tragedy.

Yours in solidarity,

Fr Tim Mulroy

Tags: New Zealand, Christchurch, Terror Attacks, Mosque

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