Congregations in Christchurch, New Zealand, are lending support to the Muslim community in response to last week’s terrorist attack at two mosques where 50 people were killed and 50 others were injured.
A gunman who held both radical far-right and far-left views stormed the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque in Central Christchurch last Friday.
Nick Duke, senior pastor at Cornerstone Church in Christchurch, who once visited the Al Noor Mosque at the invitation of a Muslim acquaintance, told The Christian Post that the tragedy prompted his congregation to hold “a service of lament and hope” on the Sunday following the shooting.
“I preached on the parable of the Good Samaritan and our responsibilities around loving our Muslim neighbors,” Duke said.
“Throughout the week we have been gathering in smaller groups and thinking through the sense of loss of security and looking at the Scriptures on that. I am speaking at a number of groups on Psalm 46 — of finding refuge in God before all else.”
At a news conference earlier this week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she wanted to ensure that people feel safe and “can practice their religion, no matter what it is.”
She asked citizens to help her ensure their communities are places “where there’s no environment for violence to flourish, where we don’t let racism exist, because racism breeds extremism, breeds some of the things that we unfortunately have had visited upon New Zealand,” news.com.au reported.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski