We stand together in sorrow and solidarity with the families and community of Muslim worshipers in New Zealand who were killed in cold blood in their houses of worship.
Wherever hate rears its ugly head, we are morally obliged to respond. An act of hate against one faith is an act of hate against all faiths. What happened in New Zealand is part of a growing cancer that is spreading in many parts of the world.
As people of faith, we have to work together to break this cycle of violence and combat the dangerous rhetoric on social media that inflames these acts of terrorism.
Christians have issued a call to action, invoking the universal value to “love our neighbor as ourself,” asking fellow Christians to consecrate, devote and dedicate themselves to transformative actions like relationship building with neighbors and “the strangers in our midst.” They also asked for media accountability “to plant and nourish seeds of true community, mutual respect, contagious hope, amazing grace in action, and Godly peace.”
The Jewish community of Pittsburgh, who suffered a similar attack, reciprocated the kindness of its Muslim neighbors who raised funds to support them in the aftermath of the deadly shooting, stating: “We feel compelled to come to the aid of those communities, just as our Jewish community was so compassionately supported only a few short months ago by people around the world of many faiths. We recall with love the immediate, overwhelming support Tree of Life received from our Muslim brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh.”
While we send our prayers to the families who lost loved ones, we owe it to the victims to exercise faith in action by bridging divides in our communities, reaching out to our neighbors in peace and reminding each other of our shared humanity.
President, Board of Trustees
The Russell Berrie Foundation