Our hearts break for those whose lives have been so cruelly shattered. Last week in Christchurch the world witnessed a deadly terrorist attack on faith where many innocent lives were lost.
It was sacred prayer time – a weekly service – equivalent to Sunday services – to which all members of the Muslim community are invited to come together – a time when all Muslims deserve to feel safe and free to be themselves.
It was an attack on the right to express an individual’s religious beliefs and practices – a fundamental human right of our identity.
This cowardly attempt to create hatred and division instead brought out love and compassion in our communities. We continue to see many displays of solidarity, connectedness, sympathy and recognition.
There is no place for hateful speech or actions. Regardless of faith, humanity comes together as one.
In Victoria we come from over 200 countries, speak more than 260 languages and dialects, and follow more than 130 faiths.
We are all equals.
We are Victoria’s Multifaith Advisory Group.
One week on from the attack, we continue to stand alongside the Muslim community, and New Zealand.
Father Abanoub Attalla
Coptic Orthodox Diocese Melbourne
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Director, Hindu Council of Australia (Victoria)
Professor Gary Bouma
Chair in Interreligious and Intercultural RelationsAsia Pacific region, UNESCO
Reverend Graham Bradbeer
Honorary Chaplain to the Old Scotch Collegians Association, Presbyterian Church of Victoria
Director, Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights
Dr Diana Cousens
Interfaith Convenor, Buddhist Council of Victoria
SKCON, Melbourne, Hindu Council of Australia
Baha’i Community of Victoria
Director Social Services Development, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne
Rabbi Ralph Genende OAM
Rabbinical Council of Victoria, Senior Rabbi Caulfield Shule
Chairperson, AMAFHH Federation
Reverend Sharon Hollis
Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania
Bishop Phillip Huggins
Anglican Diocese of Melbourne
President, Jewish Community Council of Victoria
General Manager, Islamic Council of Victoria
Executive Director, Australian Intercultural Society
Multicultural and Interfaith Advocate
The Very Reverend Michael Protopopov
Vicar-General, Dean, Russian Orthodox ChurchAustralia and New Zealand Diocese
Founder and CEO, Benevolence Australia
Sheik Muhammad Nawas
Saleem Secretary, Board of Imams Victoria Reverend
Executive Officer, Victorian Council of Churches
Reverend Helen Summers
Founder and Director, The Interfaith Centre of Melbourne
Jasbir Singh Suropada
Chair, Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria
Reverend Tut Wan Yoa
Minister, All Nations Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia
Pastor Gordon Wegener
Pastor for Service and Witness, Lutheran Church of Australia Victorian District
Chair, Multifaith Advisory Group, Chairperson, Victorian Multicultural Commission
Reviewed 23 July 2019