S’pore religious organisations speak out against Christchurch mosque terrorist attack
'The IRO is especially alarmed that recent murderous acts have occurred at holy places of worship.'
Religious organisations in Singapore spoke out in various statements on Friday against the vicious shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, that took the lives of 49 people — New Zealand’s worst-ever terrorist attack.
Australia’s and New Zealand’s leaders have condemned the alleged shooter, who is Australian, as a “violent terrorist”, and so far three suspects are in remand, with one, an Australian, having been identified and charged with murder.
There were no Singaporean victims in the attacks, but Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the Singapore government condemned them:
Here are some responses from Singapore’s religious organisations:
“The Inter-Religious Organisation, Singapore (IRO) is deeply saddened to learn of the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand earlier today.
The Council and Members of IRO pray for the departed souls and the families of the victims. Our thoughts continue to be with them during this difficult time of loss.
The IRO strongly condemns all heinous acts of terror. The IRO is especially alarmed that recent murderous acts have occurred at holy places of worship including the cowardly October 2018 attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue, Pittsburgh, USA.
The IRO prays that local communities strengthen their bonds and interfaith understanding and categorically reject all hateful acts that seek to spark division and hate between people of different races and religions.
We pray for peace and harmony to be restored in affected places and around the world.”
2. Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS)
“Muis is deeply saddened to learn of the tragic events in Christchurch today.
Muis and Singaporean Muslims stand together with the rest of society in condemning these atrocious acts of terror.
We call for all Singaporeans to be resilient and to stay united, as we reject the extremist ideas which were behind the attacks and which must never take root in Singapore.
We pray for the survivors and the families of the victims to be given strength in these trying times.”
The Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association (Pergas) also released a statement:
3. Singapore Buddhist Federation
“The Singapore Buddhist Federation is greatly saddened by the loss of so many innocent lives caused by the senseless and reckless acts of a few persons in New Zealand today.
We pray for the speedy recovery of the victims and restoration of peace and harmony.”
4. Taoist Federation (Singapore)
“The Taoist Federation (Singapore) is deeply saddened to learn of the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand earlier today.
We pray for the departed souls and the families of the victims. Our thoughts continue to be with them during this difficult time of loss. We also pray for peace and harmony to be restored in affected places and around the world.🙏🙏🙏”
“The National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) is horrified to learn of the attacks on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand today. We denounce in the strongest possible terms these inhumane, barbaric and cowardly acts of terror, which targeted defenceless Muslim men, women and children as they were engaged in acts of worship.
We lift up our earnest prayers for all the victims and their loved ones. We also pray for all those present at the scenes of terror, who may have been badly traumatised by the senseless violence. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the people of Christchurch during this very challenging time. We hope the perpetrators of these acts of terror and their accomplices will be swiftly brought to justice.
This incident serves as a reminder to us of the need for members of different religious and racial communities to interact with and know one another on a personal level, in order to dispel harmful stereotypes which might lead to exclusion, discrimination and, in the worst cases, outright violence. The NCCS will continue to work closely with other religious leaders to promote peace and better understanding amongst the followers of the various faiths.”
6. Alliance of Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches of Singapore
“The shootings at the mosques in New Zealand this morning was nothing short of barbaric and inhumane. As the Church in the nation of Singapore, we admonish this cruel act that was unleashed upon innocent lives. We are deeply grieved over the loss of lives and pray that their families will find peace during this time.
We condemn these senseless acts of violence and stand together with our Muslim community.
In such tumultuous times, it’s important for leaders of religious groups to continue to be advocates for unity and harmony, to guard and strengthen the peace we have as a nation in Singapore.
Rev Dominic Yeo
Chairman, The Alliance of Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches of Singapore
General Superintendent, The Assemblies of God Singapore”
7. Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore
“The Catholic Church in Singapore stands together with the Muslim community here and all peace-loving people to reject the violence in today’s attacks on two mosques in New Zealand. We are deeply saddened by the carnage. Such deeds remind us of the importance of promoting inter-faith dialogues.
We must also never take religious harmony for granted but always inculcate in our people the importance of being sensitive in their words and actions in our relations with people of other faiths. It is also important that we must sow the right seeds especially among our young in all forms teaching them tolerance, mutual respect and appreciation of other faiths. We must be watchful that we do not allow any organisation or social media or any form of entertainment to sow seeds of hatred, violence and rebellion.
Our thoughts and prayers go to those who lost their loved ones. May God comfort them and give them the strength to move on. For those who are injured, we pray that they have a speedy recovery. Let us not be “overcome by evil; but overcome evil by good.” (Romans 12:21)”
More on the terrorist attacks in New Zealand:
Top photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images