AUCKLAND CHURCH LEADERS AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND (ACL)
Joint Statement by Auckland Church Leaders
The recent massacre at the mosques in Christchurch has brought deep grief to New Zealand. As Auckland church leaders we condemn this evil attack and are shocked and horrified that such an atrocity should take place in our nation. We are equally horrified that it should be perpetrated in a place of prayer and worship, when freedom to worship is cherished in New Zealand. How shocking this violence should happen in a city called “Christchurch” as this act goes against everything that Jesus Christ stood for and that the church stands for.
As a Christian community we welcome, support and embrace all who live peaceably in Aotearoa New Zealand. We remember that Jesus Christ spent his early years as a migrant/refugee in Egypt and so we celebrate all who have come to New Zealand looking for freedom, safety and greater opportunities for their families. Our national anthem says it so well:
God of Nations, at Thy feet, In the bonds of love we meet….
Men of every creed and race, Gather here before Thy face….
From dissension, envy, hate And corruption guard our State, Make our country good and great God defend New Zealand
These words take on fresh and deeper meaning as we stand in solidarity with those who grieve the loss of their loved ones.
To the Muslim community in New Zealand we say that you are welcomed and loved as we share life in this great nation. This is your home too.
We pray for healing in the midst of deep sorrow. We pray for all families and friends impacted by such hate and intolerance. We pray this horrible tragedy will not divide us, but rather bring us together in strength, compassion and common humanity.
Prepared by Auckland Church Leaders:
Rt Rev Ross Bay, Anglican Bishop of Auckland ♦ Pastor Tak Bhana, Senior Pastor, Church Unlimited ♦ Pastor Paul de Jong, Senior Pastor, LIFE ♦ Pastor Jonathan Dove, Senior Pastor, Greenlane Christian Centre ♦ Most Rev Patrick Dunn, Catholic Bishop of Auckland ♦ Majors Ian & Liz Gainsford, Divisional Leaders, The Salvation Army ♦ Mr David Goold, on behalf of the Christian Community Churches of NZ (serving the Open Brethren) ♦ Pastor Ken Harrison, Senior Pastor, Harvest Christian Church , Papakura AOGNZ ♦ Pastor Dr Brian Hughes, Senior Pastor, Calvary Chapel ♦ Rev Dr Stuart Lange, Interim National Director, NZ Christian Network ♦ Rev Kok Soon Lee, Auckland Chinese Churches Association ♦ Rev Andrew Marshall, National Director, Alliance Churches of New Zealand ♦ Very Rev Anne Mills, Dean, Auckland Cathedral of the Holy Trinity ♦ Rev Steve Millward, Moderator, Northern Presbytery, Presbyterian Church ♦ Pastor Bruce Monk, International Overseer for Acts Churches & Equippers ♦ Pastor Sam Monk, Senior Pastor, Equippers Church & Acts National Leader ♦ Pastor Peter Mortlock, Senior Pastor, City Impact Church ♦ Pastor Lloyd Rankin, National Director, Vineyard Churches ♦ Pastor Boyd Ratnaraja, National Leader, Elim Church of New Zealand ♦ Pastor Dean Rush, Senior Leader, C3 Church Auckland ♦ Pastor Jim Shaw, New Life Churches Executive team ♦ Rev Paul Talluri, on behalf of the Church of the Nazarene ♦ Bishop Brian Tamaki, Destiny Churches New Zealand ♦ Pastor Allan Taylor, Northern Baptist Association ♦ Pastor Ben Timothy, President, North New Zealand Conference, Seventh-day Adventist Church ♦ Rev Dr Richard Waugh, National Superintendent, Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand ♦ Rev Graeme White, Auckland Synod Superintendent, Methodist Church of New Zealand
NATIONAL CHURCH LEADERS AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND (NCLANZ)
Joint Statement by National Church Leaders
The National Church Leaders gathered in Wellington today (Tuesday 19th March) 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.
Rev Dr Bruce Allder, District Superintendent, Church of the Nazarene ♦ Pastor Steve Burgess, Regional Overseer, C3 Churches ♦ Cardinal John Dew, Catholic Church of New Zealand ♦ Pastor Iliafi Esera, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God New Zealand ♦ Rev Tale Hakeagaiki, Chairman, Congregational Union of New Zealand ♦ Pastor Dr Brian Hughes, Regional Leader, Calvary Chapel Association ♦ Rt Rev Fakaofo Kaio, Moderator, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand ♦ Rev Dr Stuart Lange, Interim National Director, New Zealand Christian Network ♦ Pastor Brent Liebezeit, President, Christian Churches New Zealand ♦ Rev Andrew Marshall, National Director, Alliance Churches of New Zealand ♦ Pastor Peter Mortlock, Senior Pastor, City Impact Church ♦ Pastor Lloyd Rankin, National Director, Vineyard Churches ♦ Pastor Boyd Ratnaraja, National Leader, Elim Churches ♦ Archbishop Philip Richardson, Archbishop & Primate, Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia ♦ Pastor Eddie Tupai, President, New Zealand Pacific Union of the Seventh Day Adventist Church ♦ Rev Craig Vernall, National Leader, Baptist Churches in New Zealand ♦ Rev Setaita Taumoepeau K. Veikune, President, Methodist Church of New Zealand ♦ Rev Dr Richard Waugh, National Superintendent, Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand ♦ Commissioner Andrew Westrupp, Territorial Commander, The Salvation Army ♦ Pastor Adam White, National Leader, New Life Churches International ♦ Bishop Mark Whitfield, Lutheran Church of New Zealand ♦ Lesley Young, Yearly Meeting Clerk, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) joins its national member body the New Zealand Christian Network (NZCN) in strongly condemning the tragic attacks on Muslims in two Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The NZCN “has expressed horror and great sadness about the violent attacks today on Muslim people and mosques in Christchurch.” Dr. Stuart Lange, a spokesperson of the NZCN called the attack “utterly appalling” and said it “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.
Bp. Efraim Tendero, Secretary General and CEO of the WEA, said: “With this terrorist attacks at Christchurch, we are once again reminded of the intertwined and deadly nature of prejudice and extremism, how it seeks to destroy and sow enmity among peace-loving people and communities. As followers of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, we condemn such violence and state in the clearest terms that there is no justification whatsoever to commit such a heinous crime against people of any faith or no faith.”
“We mourn with the families of those who have lost loved ones in this tragic attack and pray for God to give comfort and healing to them as well as the community. As we all seek accountability and justice for all the victims of this tragedy, we are convinced that in crucial times such as this we need to all the more demonstrate the best in humanity by not repaying evil with evil, but by overcoming evil with good. (Romans 12:21)”
“As a global family of evangelical Christians – a diverse family that includes people of all complexions, ethnicities, languages, cultures and social standings – we are committed to upholding that according to the Bible, God has created each human being in His image, which gives eternal value to each individual life,” Bp. Tendero added, and said: “It is our hope and prayer that rather than dividing the community with hatred, this tragic event will bring the community together in condemning such hatred and that they would reach out to each other across any social or cultural barriers to extend comfort and support at this time.”