Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
We are shocked, saddened, and outraged at the violence enacted against our Muslim brothers and sisters in the two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Our prayers go out for the victims of this senseless crime and for their loved ones.
Such a tragedy is a painful reminder of our need to commit ourselves even more to stand in solidarity with our Muslim sisters and brothers--as well as with all people of faith who are committed to working for a more just and peaceful world. Our preparation and training for ministry must inculcate the courage to confront without violence all forms of hatred, bigotry, racism, and extremism.
In this season of Lent, we cry out to the Lord for mercy.
Thomas D. Stegman, S.J., Dean
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
Boston University School of Theology
"Our neighbors, half-way across the world, have been terrorized, and we grieve and cry out with them. While people prayed in the Al-Noor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, a horrifying attack took 49 lives and injured many more, including children and families. We grieve for those who were killed, those who have been left behind, and those whose lives have been traumatized. The attacks ripped at the security and wellbeing of Muslims worldwide, and the dignity and decency of the human family. I hope we can join together to decry bigotry and hatred wherever it festers in the human family, and to mourn all forces that dehumanize and demonize anyone or any community. People of Christchurch, and people of Islam, we link our hearts with yours."
Rev. Dr. Mary Elizabeth Moore, Ph.D.
Dean, Boston University School of Theology
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
"We grieve with the families and friends of this most recent act of hatred. Our school and community continue to denounce the sin of hatred, that we must confront once again. Our prayers go out to the victims, families and freinds in the Christchurch community of New Zealand."
Dr. Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D.
President, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Colman Mocker Distinguished Professor
of Christian Ethics
"This morning I, like you, woke to hear the horrific news that dozens of Muslims were gunned down today while praying in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Words can't express how troubling and tragic this news is, especially knowing that this is not an isolated incident but part of a larger problem of worldwide fear and hatred of Muslims, something we work every day to overcome at Hartford Seminary.
I encourage you to reach out to and stand in solidarity with our Muslim neighbors and friends as we work together through our grief, frustrations, and questions.
May God help us and grant us peace.
Dr. Joel N. Lohr, Ph.D.
President, Hartford Seminary
Harvard Divinity School
"Once again, news has come of a shocking and vicious attack against a religious community. The Muslims of Christchurch, New Zealand, were at prayer today when a gunman opened fire in two mosques, murdering dozens of innocent children, women and men, and wounding many more. There are no words to describe the horror and sadness we feel at yet another senseless and hate-driven attack against ordinary citizens exercising their right to worship.
To our Muslim sisters and brothers of this community: HDS stands with you in your sorrow. I urge others in our community to reach out to your Muslim family, friends and neighbors, here at Harvard and beyond, to express our shared shock, grief, and solidarity with them. We cannot know where or when religious hatred or extremism will strike, but we can stand together against it. It is our responsibility, perhaps especially as scholars and students of the world's religions, to speak out and act against religious bigotry and violence. We grieve at this latest attack, but we are again resolved to condemn and confront the forces of hatred and intolerance wherever they arise."
Dr. David N. Hempton, Ph.D.
Dean, Harvard Divinity School
"Our community awoke this past Friday morning to the horrifying news from Christchurch, New Zealand. That a white nationalist, heart distorted by hatred, had entered two mosques and brutally murdered dozens of Muslim worshippers. They were gathered for the weekly Jum'ah prayer.
The death toll has now risen to 50. Another 45 wounded.
With them, countless family members, friends, and community members grieving and traumatized.
With them, Muslims throughout the world, faced with another stark reminder that the deadly threat of Islamophobia and white supremacist ideology can strike anywhere.
With them, all of us.
All of us who, as Jews, know what it feels like to be hunted and haunted by those who believe we are less than fully human. All of us who, as people of faith and conscience, know that we live in an interconnected world, and that bigotry and violence anywhere tears at the fabric of God's creation. All of us who, as human beings, woke up Friday morning, horrified, speechless, heartbroken.
May we stay awake. May we not be lulled into indifference. May we turn our heartbreak into acts of connection and loving kindness. May we reach out, wherever we are, to our Muslim friends, colleagues, neighbors, and let them know we are with them.
For those of us celebrating the holiday of Purim this week, may we remember what it teaches us: That in the face of a world of violence and uncertainty, we are commanded to be responsible for each other. To feed each other. To take care of those in need. To increase shalom, ahava, v'reyut--peace, love, and friendship--in our world."
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld
President, Hebrew College
Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
"The entire community of HCHC pauses during the most sacred time of the ecclesiastical year, Great Lent, to offer prayers of support and love to those affected by the terrorist attack in New Zealand. We must collectively act to see how we can heal the wounds which cause people to perpetrate such heinous action. The good Lord who is merciful will show us the way if we listen to His WORD."
Rev. Dr. Christopher Metropulos, D.Min.
President, Hellenic College Holy Cross
Saint John's Seminary
"Saint John's Seminary joins with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley in his statement on the New Zealand Attacks: "To our Muslim brothers and sisters in New Zealand who are suffering [the] murderous attacks on innocent people of faith and goodwill during their time of prayer, we stand with you in condemning this horrendous assault on human dignity. We lift up our hearts in earnest prayer to God on behalf of those who perished in this massacre and those who have been wounded in body or in spirit."
Rev. Stephen Salocks
Interim Rector, Saint John's Seminary