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Prayers, unity sought after N.Z. attacks

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described it as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days” — a sentiment echoed by members of Churches of Christ in the South Pacific nation of 4.8 million souls. 

At least 50 people were killed and 20 seriously injured, in a terror attack targeting two mosques in Christchurch, a city on New Zealand’s South Island.

Aaron Knotts

Aaron Knotts, senior minister for the the Dunedin Church of Christ, asked for prayers for all those affected by the violence. The church meets about 200 miles south of Christchurch. 

Knotts quoted words from the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel that tell of the Lord’s supremacy and justice.

Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian man, was charged with murder for the attacks, which happened as Muslims gathered for Friday prayers. The attacks appeared to be carefully planned, police said. The suspect left a lengthy racist manifesto where he outlined a white supremacist motivation for the attack and described the victims as “invaders,” BuzzFeed News reports.

In fact, authorities now say they believe the suspect was on his way to carry out a third attack when he was caught, CNN reports.

Justin Cherry

Justin Cherry, an American minister serving in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, posted the following to social media: 

“Concerning the recent attacks in Christchurch, I have lots of words, but that is not what is needed right now. Now is a time to listen to the hurting and to show them love. 

“Let’s be a pathway to unity and peace today. Sending love to our Muslim friends throughout the world. May we all be better. May we all do better.”

Filed under: Christchurch International Mosque attack News Top Stories

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