LETTER: Burien Community Church’s statement on Christchurch shootings

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

Burien Community Church’s Statement
About the tragic shootings at the Christchurch Mosques

We are broken hearted to hear about the terrible shootings at the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. As American Baptists, we strongly believe in the freedom of safe worship for all people of all faith traditions. Our siblings of all religions, including Islam, deserve to be able to pray in peace and safety in their houses of worship. An attack on any house of worship is an attack on all houses of worship. We believe that God loves everyone, and that freedom from persecution because of religious belief, or lack of religious belief, is a right of every person born. We are praying for the now fifty lives lost and their families from this terrorist act, and we grieve with the people of New Zealand and particularly the Muslim community there.

To our local Muslim community we want to say that we see you, we stand with you, and what hurts you, also hurts us. We have more similarities than differences between us, and we are praying for you in this terrible time. In this terrorist incident in New Zealand, and in similar actions here in United States, such as at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, at the Sikh gurudwara in Oak Creek, and others in Canada and other countries, there has been a terrible unifying thread of white nationalism. We know that thoughts and prayers must be backed by actions (James 2:26), so we gird ourselves against institutionalized racism, and the fear and hate that it engenders. We are just one congregation, but we know that small actions of justice and hope disrupt the surface of societal detachment, and will create ripples of love and solidarity through our shared community.

Your fellow children of God
Burien Community Church

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