Christian World Service is grateful for the messages of support we have received from partners and friends following the brutal attacks on March 15, 2019. Our thoughts and prayers are very much with the people who have died, those with injuries and grieving for loved ones. Our prayers are for members of the Muslim community, here and overseas. Where there is fear and hatred, we pray and work for peace.
We reach out to all those who live in violent spaces. Knowing that change happens when people are willing to pray and take action. At a time when we all feel the brutality of this crime, we encourage people to take action in the name of peace and understanding. If we want the violence to end, we must invest in the difficult task of peacemaking, learning to accommodate our differences, and creating space for dialogue and justice.
Many kind people have contacted us offering financial support. We have undertaken to find the best avenue for all donations we receive. We are in direct contact with a number of groups providing help in the community. A staff member is attending meetings organised by the City Council to coordinate responses.
We are expecting your donation to go to the Muslim community and will let you know how the money is used.
Donations can be sent to the Christchurch Emergency Appeal, PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140, by phone 0800 74 73 72 or online.
We appreciate your continued prayers and support.
Every day we work to make the world safer for people who have been made poor, who suffer discrimination and injustice. We can do this because of the support given to us and from our partners working deep in communities across the planet. Our partners work with people of all faiths and none. From war-torn South Sudan to the refugee settlements in Jordan and Lebanon, they bring communities together, finding ways to improve family income and encourage understanding.
Last Friday, the conflict came very close. Our office is not far from the Christchurch hospital and across Hagley Park from the Masjid al Noor Mosque. Staff were in lockdown on Friday evening with little information about the events unfolding at the time. We were grateful to receive messages of concern from many places, many of which experience high levels of tension and violence. We share them with you because they are for all of us.
I have been intending to contact you ever since the horrendous situation experienced in Christchurch. Please know that Dabane [Water Trust] admires you all for your fortitude and that way that your government has subsequently dealt with guns and the matter generally. I am sorry for the delay but it does not diminish our concern and respect for you.
Stephen and all at Dabane
From Sri Lanka
We have been shocked by the incidents of the terrorist attack against a Muslim Mosque in the city of Christchurch killing 48 people and wounding about 50 people.
All of us at DDC herewith express our grief and condolence on this tragedy to you and the people of New Zealand. However, we feel that the confidence kept by the world people on New Zealand as the most suitable country to live in will not be tarnished after this unfortunate incident.
It was sad to hear about the terrorist atttack in New Zealand yesterday. We hope CWS is safe. Our deepest sympathies to the people who passed away. And we pray that these kind of incidents will not happen again in the world.
Take care and be safe.
Staff of Womens Centre Sri Lanka
I hope you are well. I am writing to convey our condemnation for the savaged attack directed against the innocent people who were within the hands of Almighty during their prayers. At the same time we would like to express our deep concern for such terror and convey our heartfelt condolences to NZ and the families of the victims for whom we pray that God might bless their souls and rest them in peace, and that the injured to have speedy recovery.
Kindest regards to all at your end.
Constantine and family (former director of the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees, Gaza)
The tragedy that befell Christchurch had shocked us here. I want on my own behalf and that of all in DSPR to pass on our condolences and to express our support at this hour of grief and mourning. We remember those who fell and we pray for their families, friends and relatives and we wish those in hospitals a recovery that would enable them to go on with their lives.
We have been following the repercussions of this abhorrent hate crime. The outpouring of feelings of solidarity across religious and national lines show that the decent people in our world far outnumber those who are bent on not accepting others and of stereotyping them in a condensing manner.
As we bow our heads with prayers and thoughts, we see a need for education that would open up to others. We also acknowledge that leaders and other public role models should be careful about expressing their racial preferences and other prejudices. We also see an important role for the family to educate their children on ways to understanding others and appreciate the differences.
I want to assure you that we are thinking of you, CWS and the New Zealand people with their various communities at this hour of great tragedy.
With heartfelt condolences,
Dr. Bernard Sabella
Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees
Middle East Council of Churches
It is with great sadness and outrage that I write this email. In solidarity with all of New Zealand and the world, SEEP joins the voices paying tribute, condolence and to express our deep emotions about the unspeakable tragedy that unfolded on Friday afternoon. It has taken us a while to comprehend this as well – the NGOCHR (Non-governmental Organisation Coalition for Human Rights) held a candlelight vigil on Saturday evening in solidarity.
Please know that you are all in our prayers and in solidarity!
Chantelle and the SEEP team.
Social Empowerment Education Programme
ACT Alliance condemns the brutal attack in #Christchurch, #NewZealand. We pray for the victims and stand in solidarity with the faith communities and everyone that is directly affected by this heinous act of violence.
ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together)
It is with deep shock and indignation that the World Council of Churches (WCC) received the news that 49 people have been killed and at least 20 were wounded in terrorist attacks at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch and at the mosque in the suburb of Linwood in New Zealand.
Rev. Ray Coster, WCC Central Committee member from Aotearoa New Zealand said, “We share with sisters and brothers in the wider ecumenical family our pain and grief in one of New Zealand’s darkest hours and crave their prayers for the many Muslim families grieving at this time. Some of these families may be migrants or refugees. They are part of us. Many came seeking refuge and safety as Aotearoa New Zealand is perceived as a safe place. As a nation we value compassion, kindness and tolerance. What we have seen today has no place in our culture.”
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC, stated: “This terrible crime against women, men and children at the time of their prayers is an attack on all believers and an assault on the bonds of shared humanity and peaceful coexistence which unite us all. The WCC stands in solidarity with all Muslims at this time, especially the Muslims of Aotearoa New Zealand, and expresses the strongest possible condemnation of these actions and of the hateful and dangerous ideologies that stand behind them.”
Tveit expressed his deep condolences to the Muslim community, and all the people of Aotearoa New Zealand, for this massacre is an attack on the whole nation and its values of inclusion and respect for all its citizens. He added: “We pray that all the communities of Aotearoa New Zealand will come together to support those who have suffered so dreadfully and to reaffirm the nation’s commitment to the safety and flourishing of all its people”.
Tveit concluded: “At this time the WCC reiterates its long-standing commitment to dialogue and harmony with the Muslim communities of the world. We affirm to all our Muslim friends and partners that we utterly reject such actions and call on all Christian people to follow in the way of Jesus Christ by seeking to live in peace and respect with all our neighbours, and especially committing ourselves to the protection of vulnerable minorities.”
From Hong Kong
The Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) has denounced a bloody shooting at worshippers in the Al Noor mosque and the Linwood masjid in Christchurch, New Zealand in which 49 people have been reported dead, and 20 injured.
Responding to the tragic incident in New Zealand, the General Secretary of CCA Dr. Mathews George Chunakara stated, “No matter what faith we adhere or ethnicity we belong to, everybody should be able to live in an atmosphere where peace and security is prevailed and sustained; any act of violence must be prevented with all possible efforts.”
“We send our heart-felt support to all those who have been affected; we offer prayers to Almighty God for the victims, their families and reach out through our grief and distress to our Islamic brothers and sisters in New Zealand ”, said Dr. Mathews George Chunakara.
Recalling the prophetic affirmation that “Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken” (Micah 4:4), the CCA General Secretary urged: “Let us pray fervently that God will take those killed into His merciful arms and grant them eternal rest. Let there be peace in the hearts of all those who are shattered by this awful tragedy that has destroyed a rather peaceful setting in a religiously tolerant country like New Zealand”.…
You are in our thoughts and prayers as you mourn the loss of innocence and the innocent.
Leslie, Sophal and all of our Church World Service colleagues worldwide:
At ICKL (Institut Culturel Karl Lévêque) we have heard about the mass shooting in Christchurch.
We want to let you (CWS Staff) know that we share your grief and stand with you against these kinds of senseless acts of violence.
Our hearts and thoughts go out to you and your country in this sorrowful time.
We were deeply shocked and saddened when we read the news about the attacks on the Mosques in Christchurch and the victims they have caused.
It is so overwhelming to learn that violence and terrorism have reached a country that has such a tradition of respect and non-violence.
We are praying for those affected and for the churches to provide emotional accompaniment to them.
Hugs to you all,
Damaris and the CEPAD team
Consejo de Iglesias Evangélicas Pro-alianza Denominacional (Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua)
Christchurch Mosque Attacks Are An Attack on All Communities of Faith
The Pacific Conference of Churches is deeply disturbed by the terrorist attacks against members of the Muslim community in Christchurch, New Zealand yesterday.
That this evil was perpetrated on innocent defenceless women, children and men as they marked their holy day, with their Jummah Prayers is not just an attack on Muslims but an attack on all people of faith, on the right to worship and live in peace.
We stand in solidarity with our Muslim sisters and brothers and condemn this terrible act and those who promote the ideologies of hate and discrimination.
We call on our member churches and communities of faith to pray for the victims of the attacks and their families, for the Muslim community and for the people of New Zealand as they respond to this tragedy.
Let us recommit to rejecting violence and discrimination and to work to practice the radical love of Christ which embraces the migrant, the different and the least among us.
As a Pacific member of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), we call on all communities of faith to denounce violence and religious and racial intolerance. We need to come together as a community for non-violence and just peace.
This crime underlines the need for deeper interreligious dialogue and stronger interreligious collaboration for peaceful families and inclusive communities in the face of gender-based violence, rapidly changing societies and impacts of climate change and structural violence and unjust economic practices which are the preconditions for intolerance, discrimination and radicalisation.
There have been interreligious collaborations to call for Climate Justice and to speak out against Gender Based Violence in the region and we must continue to work together in the face of any form of extremism.
We echo the words of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement who said, “though we may not think alike, let us love alike.”
Rev. James Bhagwan
Sorry for horrific Mosque attacks in New Zealand
Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the community affected by the horrendous shootings in New Zealand.
CCS and communities in Isingiro depend on generous communities in New Zealand for improving their livelihoods by supporting RWH project to access safe water through rainwater tanks construction so when affected we are also affected.
When we receive the bad news on our national TV we were shocked and sorry for our beloved friends in New Zealand affected by the deadliest attack while worshipping in mosques in Christchurch.
As this is near your workplace you were also affected. Similarly many years back some church believers were massacred by King Lwanga in Uganda and we recognize them as martyrs likewise as these were killed in a holy place worshipping will be martyrs.
On behalf of Isingiro community, we grieve together. We are one. They are us.
Convey our sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the families and communities that lost their dear ones.
Centre for Community Solidarity
A short note to express our shock and dismay at the tragedy and our solidarity with you in this time of grief. Words fail us.
The entire HRF team, and the global human rights community, stands with you at this time in solidarity.
We wish you the strength and the fortitude to overcome,
With much love and prayers,
Human Rights Foundation
On behalf of Act for Peace I’m writing to acknowledge the devastation of the terrorist attacks in Christchurch last Friday.
We hope your staff, friends and family are safe, and we send our condolences to you and to your broader community.
No-one should feel unsafe, much less in their place of worship.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you, yours sincerely,
From the USA
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance director offers prayer for ‘the whole broken and heartbroken world’
God of our weary years and our silent tears,
We are shattered by the deaths of 49 Muslim neighbours in New Zealand,
cut down in the midst of Friday prayers.
We are horrified, angry, despairing
We struggle with a knowledge that our prayers alone are not enough
our silence in the face of intolerance and fear is complicity
a fear that we do not know a way forward that will help
an emptiness: we have been here before, too many times,
and we know we will walk this bloodied path again.
What can we do, with such fear and anger and longing,
that can bind us together,
rather than further tear apart the fabric of our common life?
We are failing one another, and we are failing You, O Maker of the Universe:
our Mercy, our Justice, our Peace.
We pray for our neighbours in Christchurch
and for our whole broken and heartbroken world
in this hard season of violence, death and extremism
each one lost is a child made in Your image.
each survivor is beloved to You
each afflicted community is part of your commonwealth.
We lift our prayers for each life lost, each family bereaved,
the worshipping communities whose fabric has been violently torn asunder
by bullets and hatred and fear.
We pray for ourselves, that this wounding, this outrage,
will not fade from our minds before our hearts are broken open
by Your passion for mercy, justice, and love.
Make us ceaseless in our resistance to xenophobia, intolerance, and fear.
May the knowledge of your divine image, given to every living being,
warm hearts that have grown cold,
and invigorate our desire to embrace our differences
and celebrate our belonging in the whole human family.
Make the waters of our tears nourish the river that flows through the city of God,
and the tree of life that is for the healing of the nations.
In the name of the God who is One, we pray. Amen.
by Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
From Christchurch Church Leaders
Church leaders are absolutely devastated at the unprecedented situation in Christchurch this afternoon and our hearts and prayers go to all involved. No religious organisation or group deserves to be the target of someone’s hate – regardless of beliefs. We stand for an Aotearoa New Zealand which will never condone such violence. So across the churches of Christchurch and Canterbury, we are praying for our Muslim brothers and sisters, for those injured and those who have lost loved ones, for the police, ambulance and other emergency services, and for all in the city of Christchurch who are feeling distress and fear due to this event. We are upholding you all in our prayers. We pray too for the shooter and their supporters, because for any person to do this, they must have such hatred in their hearts, such misalignment of the value of human life, that they too, need our prayer. We thank many others from around our nation and the world who are praying for peace in Christchurch.
Bishop Peter Carrell on behalf of the leaders of churches in Christchurch city and Canterbury province
Photo Credit: Thank you for the Canterbury Muslim Community Trust for the image.