The Fiji Council of Churches wishes to express its deepest sympathy to the Muslim community in Fiji and New Zealand, families who lost their loved ones, those who were injured and those suffered in the despicable and cowardly acts of violence that took their lives and caused their injuries.

FCC members are absolutely devastated at the barbaric act of violence within the four walls of a place of worship where innocent men, women and children were cut down by gun shots while offering their prayers to mark a significant day of worship in their Muslim calendar.

We stand united with all our Muslim brothers and sisters in this time of sorrow. We always contend that no religious organisation or group deserves to be the target of someone’s hate – regardless of beliefs.

And to all our Muslim brothers and sisters, be assured of our continuing prayers and that we stand in solidarity with you in this darkest period of your history.

We strongly condemn the ideology that led to the merciless and horrific shooting that led to the death of innocent members of a religious community.

If the perpetrator of the massacre thought he had won, we contend that he is a loser for the whole world had rallied their support towards the victims and that we will remain steadfast against such an ideology.

Mankind as a whole dies with the victims but rises again to face the same evil. Yes we fall together and we will rise together as one. And in our unity, one’s death is our death as the 16th century English poet John Donne wrote:

“No man is an island entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.”

To all Christians, now is the time to stand together, support our Muslim friends, and most importantly, keep talking and keep working to better understand each other. We must respond to this act by rejecting the rhetoric of hatred and religious intolerance, and to show compassion and kindness to all people irrespective of race, color or creed.

Rev. Iliesa Naivalu

General Secretary

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