A response to the harm done the Muslim community on March 15, 2019. Following consultation, the citywide church network release this statement:
As people of various faith traditions, we recognise that we share common space;
the common space of this planet and city we all call home.
For those of us committed to the Christian faith,
our Muslim neighbours are our friends. (as are those of other faith traditions, and those of a secular faith.)
We, like our Muslim friends, follow our religion faithfully.
Although we recognise the reality of our religious differences,
we do not see these differences as things that must divide us.
We are devout in our faith, and respectful of our friendship.
Our faith and friendship need not be mutually exclusive.
For our sake, that of our children, and generations to come in Aotearoa New Zealand,
we seek common ground.
We may not share a common faith, but we share a common humanity.
Our differences can be seen in our rituals and our prayers,
but now, as humanity, we hold to a common dream: Salaam, Shalom, Peace, Rangimarie.
We hold to the dream that our children may play in peace without fear of violence.
We acknowledge that our religions share a complex and interwined history –
a history that has been too often tumultuous and bloody.
We believe there is a better way, and we seek that better way.
The way of peace.
We pledge not to hate.
We pledge not to dehumanise others.
We pledge to do no harm in the name of God.
We acknowledge that we hold to differing claims of truth in our respective religions,
but we will not use truth claims to fuel hate or justify violence.
We will practise our faith in a manner that fosters peace, upholding the call of Jesus to love our neighbour as ourselves.
We are Christians, and our neighbours are our friends.
Network of Christian Churches, serving Otautahi, Christchurch and regions.
(adapted with permission from a statement signed by Ahmed El-Sherif, Samuel Nachum and Brian Zahnd.)