As members and friends of the Church of the Nazarene in New Zealand, we are shocked and dismayed at the senseless violence committed in Christchurch on March 15. Our hearts are heavy with sadness.

We stand together in grief with our friends of the Muslim faith who have suffered in this tragic and inhumane act. The violence perpetrated mostly in a place of prayer and worship in a country where the freedom to worship is celebrated makes it all the harder to bear. We pray for God’s comfort and peace.

We stand together with our friends of the Muslim faith and abhor the evil of this event. God weeps with us today as we mourn the loss of life and the loss of innocence.

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We pray for healing in the midst of deep sorrow. We pray for all families and friends impacted by this hate and intolerance.

At such a time it is easy to become fearful and retreat into distrust. But with the optimism of God’s grace, we choose to love and open our hearts. As a Christian community we protect, encourage and embrace all who live in this beautiful country of New Zealand. We offer our hand of friendship, love, and support. To the Muslim community in New Zealand today we say that you are welcomed and loved as we share life in this great nation.

Bruce G Allder
District Superintendent, Church of the Nazarene
New Zealand