What is the Christian stance on the terrible events of 15 March, in which 50 Muslim people were murdered in Christchurch?
Within hours of this tragedy, the New Zealand Christian Network put out the following statement….
The New Zealand Christian Network has expressed horror and great sadness about the violent attacks today on Muslim people and mosques in Christchurch. A spokesperson for the network, Dr Stuart Lange, said the attacks are “utterly appalling” and will be deplored by all New Zealand people of all faiths or none. The network urges people to pray for all the families and communities which will be deeply affected and to offer them support in every way possible.
On Tuesday, the National Church Leaders meeting (which includes the heads of many Christian church denominations) unanimously declared…
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.
Our comments today…
All over the country, Christian churches and Christian people have been praying for our New Zealand Muslim community, and showing them love and support through messages, visits, gifts, and participation in vigils.
This remains the overwhelming Christian response: sorrow, prayer, and compassion.
We join with all New Zealanders in showing aroha and support. We are all fellow human beings, God’s creatures. And we are fellow New Zealanders. We live in a multi-cultural, multi-faith New Zealand, and we should relate to one another with love and respect while faithfully holding to our own Christian and biblical beliefs.
We encourage all Christians to join in the 2 minutes of silence, and to join in prayer for those who grieve and to pray for peace in our nation.
We do not need to see today’s public broadcasting of the Muslim call for prayer as a national endorsement of distinctive Muslim beliefs. We assume its use today has only been intended as a special mark of respect to a grieving community at this time. Let us all pray with integrity to God whom we worship and trust; as Christians, we pray to God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In God’s name we pray today, and must continue to pray for our whole nation.