Tuhia ki te rangi
Tuhia ki te whenua
Tuhia ki te ngākau o ngā tāngata
Ko te mea nui ko te aroha
Write it in the sky, write in the earth, write it in the heart of the people, the greatest thing is love.
The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) is deeply shocked and saddened by the absence of humanity towards the Muslim community in Christchurch last Friday. We stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters and we choose to respond to this unimaginable event with Love, Unity and Peace.
In Christchurch and around the country there has been an outpouring of love and support for victims and their families. Aroha has won over violence as it will always do so.
NZCCSS particularly wishes to acknowledge the work of our Christchurch social service members who once again have been called to support people in crisis. This support will be needed over a long time as people seek both practical and trauma support to rebuild their lives.
There is much to reflect on in terms of the wider context in which this event has happened, what lessons need to be learned, and what needs to change both here in New Zealand and internationally. We will leave this for another time.
Today we wish to focus on statements by our Church communities, and on their calls for prayer for our Muslim families and for peace and solidarity.
Anglican – Anglican Archbishops call nation to prayer
Presbyterian – Presbyterians denounce violent Christchurch attacks
Salvation Army –Salvation Army call for love and peace
Combined Church Leaders – Joint Statement by National Church Leaders
What you Can Do to Help
Read the responses of Muslim New Zealanders to this event and try to understand how we can do better together in this land: Saziah Bashir, Anjum Rahman, Lamia Imam on RadioNZ and on Newsroom and many more voices recorded through the the Science Media Centre
Join the vigils and events in support of the Muslim community that are taking place around the country
Stand up to racism, Islamophobia and discrimination of all kinds, says Paul Hunt, Human Rights Commissioner
Write to MPs in support of stronger gun laws and an immediate moratorium on sales of automatic weapons.
Pray for all those affected by hatred, discrimination and violence.
Holy God of mercy and compassion, pour down your embrace and love on all the world. In places of strife, violence, and death.
We pray for the communities in Christchurch. The victims of this horrific tragedy, their families and the whole of New Zealand.
May your grace and power surround us all.
Giving strength and courage in the face of hatred and evil.
In Jesus we pray.
Presbyterian Church Moderator, Rt Rev Fakaofo Kaio,