On behalf of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and Churches within the worldwide Anglican Communion, Anglican Missions is preparing to launch a Relief appeal in support of victims and families affected by the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday 15th March 2019.
Archbishops Philip Richardson and Don Tamihere, joint leaders of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand issued a joint statement:
"We are shocked at the appalling and horrific acts of violence that occurred in Christchurch today.
We feel utterly saddened for those who have lost their lives, and for their families and loved ones who mourn them. Indeed we mourn with them as fellow citizens and members of the same human whanau, and we condemn the despicable and cowardly acts of violence that took their lives.
The freedom of worship and religious life is an absolute right to all in this land. We choose to stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters and support their continued and inalienable right to live and worship here in peace.
All of us who live here in Aotearoa New Zealand must stand in solidarity in the face of such evil – and we call upon Anglicans throughout Aotearoa New Zealand to uphold all those affected in prayer, and to respond to this act by rejecting the rhetoric of hatred and religious intolerance, and to show compassion and kindness to all our neighbours who wish to live here in peace.”
We have been shielded in Aotearoa New Zealand from so much of the religious hatred and bigotry that stalks the world. But yesterday that innocence and immunity was shattered.
Anglican Missions joins with Christians across the globe in condemning this terrorist act. Please join us in praying for God’s comfort for the families, friends, and communities who lost loved ones; for wisdom for our national and local leaders as they respond; for peace and calm and for no further incidents or retaliations; for the police, emergency responders, chaplains and health professionals at the hospitals dealing with survivors; for wisdom and sensitivity towards our Muslim brothers and sisters; and for church communities as they respond - especially in Christchurch.
Anglican Missions is in discussions with church and community leaders, and will launch an appeal more formally with more definitive information early next week. In the meantime, donations can be sent to Anglican Missions in support of the Relief Appeal.