Christchurch massacre, the condolences of the Churches in Asia

Pope Francis expresses his closeness to the victims relatives. Indonesian Catholics condemnation joined by Synod of Protestant Churches (PGI), the Archdiocese of Singapore, the Indian Bishops Conference and the Union of Indian Christians (Protestants and laity). Archdiocese of Singapore: "We must teach young people tolerance, mutual respect and appreciation of other faiths in every way".


Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Churches across Asia have joined Pope Francis in expressing their sympathy for the massacre carried out in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. In the telegram, signed by the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, we read: "His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence at two Mosques in Christchurch, and he assures all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity in the wake of these attacks. ".

In the two attacks yesterday, which devastated a country where the success of social integration of migrants has become a model for the whole world, 49 people died and 20 others suffered serious injuries. The Vatican's message continues: "Mindful of the efforts of the security and emergency personnel in this difficult situation, His Holiness prays for the healing of the injured, the consolation of those who grieve the loss of their loved ones, and for all affected by this tragedy. Commending those who have died to the loving mercy of Almighty God, Pope Francis invokes the divine blessings of comfort and strength upon the nation.. "

Always committed to promoting harmony and interreligious dialogue, the Catholic communities of Indonesia, Singapore and India entrust the condolences for the attacks in New Zealand to the communiqués of their respective Bishops' Conferences.

Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta and president of the Indonesian Bishops Conference (Kwi), condemns the attacks and extends "deep condolences to the victims and their grieving families". "This deadly attack is completely inhumane, it strongly opposes all the good values ‚Äč‚Äčthat every religion usually offers and is against our common humanity", writes the archbishop. "We support  the New Zealand authorities in pursuing the case. We express the hope that the bloody attacks in New Zealand will not damage our current religious and social harmony, which at the moment is going very well " concludes Msgr. Suharyo-.

The voice of the Indonesian Catholics joined is by that of the Synod of Protestant Churches (PGI). "Today's brutal attack - says a statement released yesterday - has tarnished our humanity and is definitely against the rights we have always fought for. The human soul is priceless in the eyes of God and this is why we oppose any act of hostility based on sectarianism ".

The archdiocese of Singapore states in a statement: "Such deeds remind us of the importance of promoting inter-faith dialogues. We must also never take religious harmony for granted but always inculcate in our people the importance of being sensitive in their words and actions in our relations with people of other faiths.  It is also important that we must sow the right seeds especially among our young in all forms teaching them tolerance, mutual respect and appreciation of other faiths.  We must be watchful that we do not allow any organization or social media or any form of entertainment to sow seeds of hatred, violence and rebellion".

Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Indian Bishops' Conference (CBCI), on behalf of all the Catholics of India expresses "profound pain and anguish for the massacre of our innocent Muslim brothers and sisters". The prelate recalls that the attack on mosques takes place one month after the attack on Indian soldiers in Pulwama, Kashmir.

"When it is unleashed - he underlines - the demon of hatred and division, it is difficult to control and disarray plays leaving behind death, pain and pain". Remembering that the massacre was  filmed live on Facebook, the cardinal also rails against the nefarious use of social media: "It is also a moment of reflection on the use of social media which is increasingly getting loaded with hate, threatening messages, ultra-nationalistic rage, categorization of dissenters as anti-nationals etc. It is time to call out hate mongers and take them to task.”.

Finally, Msgr. Joseph D’Souza, of the Church of the Good Shepherd of India and president of the All India Christian Coucil (Protestant and lay Christians), says: “Our words, tweets and Facebook posts have an impact on vulnerable minds. We must remember that we collect what we sow. This attack reminds us that the world has a desperate need for peacemakers, to sow peace and cast proud against the evil that aims to suppress the fundamental right of every human being to practice his or her religion as he or she prefers. "

 

(Mathias Hariyadi collaborated)

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