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A statement on Christchurch

A statement from Victoria’s Multifaith Advisory Group in solidarity with the Muslim community and New Zealand.

Thursday 21 March 2019 11:57pm

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

Daniel Bellis
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia

Makarand Bhagwat
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

Rasheeda Cooper
Director, Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights

Dr Diana Cousens
Interfaith Convenor, Buddhist Council of Victoria

Bhakta DasaI
SKCON, Melbourne, Hindu Council of Australia

Murray Davies
Baha’i Community of Victoria

Denis Fitzgerald
Director Social Services Development, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne

Rabbi Ralph Genende OAM
Rabbinical Council of Victoria, Senior Rabbi Caulfield Shule

Batul Gulani
Chairperson, AMAFHH Federation

Reverend Sharon Hollis
Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania

Bishop Phillip Huggins
Anglican Diocese of Melbourne

Jennifer Huppert
President, Jewish Community Council of Victoria

Ayman Islam
General Manager, Islamic Council of Victoria

Ahmet Keskin
Executive Director, Australian Intercultural Society

David Marlow
Multicultural and Interfaith Advocate

The Very Reverend Michael Protopopov
Vicar-General, Dean, Russian Orthodox ChurchAustralia and New Zealand Diocese

Saara Sabbagh
Founder and CEO, Benevolence Australia

Sheik Muhammad Nawas
Saleem Secretary, Board of Imams Victoria Reverend

Ian Smith
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

Helen Kapalos
Chair, Multifaith Advisory Group, Chairperson, Victorian Multicultural Commission

Reviewed 23 June 2021

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