The massacre of 50 people praying at Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand is beyond human understanding. Pax Christi USA mourns with the loved ones impacted by this tragedy, and we adamantly reject the racism, xenophobia, and hatred from which this violence was born.
We hope for a world where differences like skin color, religion, and nationality are not seen as separation, because there is no “we” and “them.” We all participate in the same world, we share the same humanity, and we must confront the messages in society that promote the belief that we are all not one human family.
We respect and admire how New Zealanders have responded with unity and grace to this devastating situation. The Prime Minister has responded with thoughts, prayers, and action. She has visibly offered her support to her community and called for stricter gun laws. Also, the wider country has gathered in solidarity against the hatred and violence that motivated the massacre. Even a New Zealand rugby team has started discussion about changing their name, the Canterbury Crusaders, because of the violent, xenophobic history of the Christian crusades. This kind of intentional action towards a culture of nonviolence at political, social, and individual levels is critically important.
Pax Christi USA stands with our sisters and brothers in the Muslim community by offering our prayers and our actions to bring an end to the fear and extremism that is responsible for this kind of tragedy.