Presbyterian Church Moderator, Rt Rev Fakaofo Kaio, adds the voice of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand to those railing against today’s violent shootings in Christchurch.
“We are deeply, deeply shocked. There are really no words to adequately convey the gravity of this situation where people have lost their lives and been injured in such a senseless and violent manner.
“In New Zealand this sort of violence is unheard of, and we must stand together as a nation against religious violence.
“There is strength the diversity, and many of us will have neighbours who are different to ourselves. We need to learn their names, break bread with them, and work to understand their values and their faith, because this how the hatred and fear that breeds such violence will be eliminated.
“We will be praying for today’s victims and their families, and we will also pray for God’s blessing upon the Christchurch community, who will be particularly affected by this terrible tragedy.
“I call on all of our parishes and faith communities, to please have a moment of silence before worship this Sunday. The love and power of God shall reign through all the world.”
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.
19 March - Read also the Joint Statement from Joint Statement by National Church Leaders on Christchurch mosques attack
21 March - Read the Moderator's pastoral message to the Church