Third Sunday of Lent ~ 24 March 2019
Friday 15 March 2019 our nation was rocked by the terrible acts of violence that occurred in Christchurch. Somewhat stunned that such events have taken place in this land we are coming to terms with the impact this has had on the lives of individuals, families, communities and indeed upon us as a nation. Our prayers are with the victims, their families and all affected by the senseless killing.
We stand in prayerful solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters at this time.
FROM POPE FRANCIS
‘Deeply Saddened’ by ‘Senseless Violence,’ Pope Francis assures all New Zealanders, and especially Muslims, his heartfelt solidarity ….
“His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence at two Mosques in Christchurch, and he assures all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity in the wake of these attacks. Mindful of the efforts of the security and emergency personnel in this difficult situation, His Holiness prays for the healing of the injured, the consolation of those who grieve the loss of their loved ones, and for all affected by this tragedy. Commending those who have died to the loving mercy of Almighty God, Pope Francis invokes the divine blessings of comfort and strength upon the nation.”
FROM NEW ZEALAND’S BISHOPS
Dear Members of the Muslim community in Aotearoa New Zealand. We hold you in prayer as we hear the terrible news of violence against Muslims at mosques in Christchurch. We are profoundly aware of the positive relationships we have with Islamic people in this land, and we are particularly horrified that this has happened at a place and time of prayer. We are deeply saddened that people have been killed and injured, and our hearts go out to them, their families and wider community. We wish you to be aware of our solidarity with you in the face of such violence. Peace… Salaam.
FROM NATIONAL CHURCH LEADERS AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND (NCLANZ)
Joint Statement by National Church Leaders The National Church Leaders gathered in Wellington today (Tuesday 19th March 2019) to express their profound horror at the terrible violence towards Muslim people in Christchurch mosques last Friday. We are deeply saddened by these tragic events and we strongly condemn these acts of racial hatred and murder. We feel very deeply for our fellow New Zealand faith community, which was so cruelly attacked as worshippers peacefully gathered for prayer.
We extend our prayerful and heartfelt sympathy to the Muslim community here in New Zealand, and around the world. The whole Christian church community in New Zealand is praying for the Muslim community: praying for the healing of the wounded, comfort for the bereaved, and for God’s peace upon all who have been traumatised.
At this time of deep shock, grief, and anxiety, we ask and pray for all New Zealanders to stand united, to have great love and compassion, and to show unfailing respect and kindness for all people who live in this society of Aotearoa New Zealand, regardless of ethnicity or religious affiliation.
We believe there is absolutely no room for racial hatred in our land, and we are determined that we must stand together as one people, united as human beings created by God, and as fellow New Zealanders. May goodness overcome evil, and peace and goodwill prevail.