Religious Leaders Stand in Solidarity With Muslims in New Zealand

Pray for New Zealand

Reaching across religious lines to offer comfort, religious leaders all over the world are articulating their condolences to those affected by Friday’s mosque shootings in New Zealand. As fellow people of faith, these leaders are spreading the Pray for New Zealand message.

“This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters.

A gunman attacked two mosques on Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday prayers. At least 49 people have died, with many more injured, some critically. A suspect is in custody, but authorities in New Zealand are not ruling out the possibility that the shooter had help.

As if the incident wasn’t bad enough, it appears those involved in the attack uploaded footage of shootings to social media and YouTube. It is obvious those responsible wanted the incident to be highly publicized. Authorities in New Zealand are asking people on social media not to share images of the suspected shooter or any of the footage the shooter may have uploaded.

Christian Leaders Offer Condolences

The fact that Muslim worshippers were attacked while attending a prayer service has struck a nerve with the global religious community. Christian leaders took to Twitter and other social media platforms to express their sorrow at the event.

J.D. Greear, Pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, and President of the Southern Baptist Convention

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Canterbury, United Kingdom

Mika Edmondson, Pastor of New City Fellowship Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Stadia Church Planting Network in the United States

Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, United States

Reverend Dr. Demali Najuma Smith-Pollard, Senior Pastor of Word of Encouragement Community Church in Los Angeles, California

Dr. Glenn Davies, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Australia

Arkansas United Methodist Church Conference

Other Faith Communities Stand in Solidarity with Muslims

Jewish leaders announced the synagogues in New Zealand will be closed on Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath) out of a sign of solidarity with New Zealand’s Muslim community. Isaac Herzog, Chairman of the Jewish Agency, said, “The Jewish Agency and the NZ Jewish Council stand in solidarity with the bereaved families. We are united in fighting violent hatred and racism.”

Other Muslim communities in places like the United States are concerned for their own safety after the attack. “Every time there is a shooting in any house of worship, mosque, synagogue or church, we Muslims wonder ‘Are we going to be next?'” Imam Ahmed Alamine told the Indy Star. Aliya Amin, executive director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana, said the group is urging all religious congregations to “step up their security.”

Despite the devastation and fear, though, Alamine says, “The level of support from law enforcement, from Christians, from Jews, it is just so amazing.”

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Megan Briggs
Megan Briggs is a writer and editor for ChurchLeaders.com. Her experience in ministry, an extensive amount of which was garnered overseas, gives her a unique perspective on the global church. She has the longsuffering and altruistic nature of foreign friends and missionaries to humbly thank for this experience. Megan is passionate about seeking and proclaiming the truth. When she’s not writing, Megan likes to explore God’s magnificent creation.

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