‘With sympathy and solidarity with Sainte-Foy’
In a mosque in Ste-Foy in the City of Québec full of devout Muslims gathered for Evening Prayer, their chanting was shattered by the crack of gunfire, leaving six people dead, scores of others injured, a neighbourhood traumatized, and a nation horrified.
My heart, indeed the hearts of all people of good will, goes out to all Muslims across Canada as they struggle with this terrible attack. We hold in our prayers those who have died, for their families and for their imams who care for them in their grief. We also pray for those who have been injured and for those tending them. We remember too the police, and all others whose daily work is to “serve and protect”.
At moments like this, people of faith must stand together in solidarity for those values common to our respective religious traditions: the adoration of God, the respect we owe one another as fellow human beings, and the care with which we tend the earth, our common home.
In the Readings for Sunday past we heard the call of the prophet Micah – “what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God?” (6:6-8). We also heard Jesus teaching in the Beatitudes, that we are called to be merciful, to hunger and thirst for right relations with one another, to do what makes for peace among all.
These are the values that make us children of God, friends in faith, and citizens of the world. Please join me in praying for the people of Ste-Foy and especially for our Muslim friends in this very difficult time.
Bishop Melissa's Pastoral Letter
Dear People of the Diocese of New Westminster
The sounds of prayer at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre were shattered by gunfire at approximately 8pm, EST, on January 29, 2017. Six people were killed, 19 were injured (five critically injured), and dozens more were scarred by the chaos, suffering and death they experienced.
My belief is that when one of our houses of prayer is attacked, all of our houses of prayer are attacked—whether that house of prayer be a Christian church, a Jewish synagogue or a mosque. I would ask, then, that you join with me in some specific efforts to support our Islamic brothers and sisters and their communities in British Columbia and throughout Canada.
Pray for those in the attack who were injured and their families, for those who lost their lives and their families and for those who were traumatized.
Consider attending the prayer service currently being planned for this Friday, February 3 at noon at Christ Church Cathedral to remember those who died and to call for an end to all violence and hatred focused on Muslim communities.
Participate in any other local prayer vigils or gatherings, especially those held by Muslim communities, in response to the attack and encourage others to attend with you. Speak out in your own community against intolerance and violence.
Take opportunities to learn about Islam. The clergy of our diocese will have a time to do this on November 9th of this year with Mufti Aasim Rashid, the Director of Religion and Islamic Education for the B.C. Muslim Association. Identify ways to learn about Islam in your community and participate.
And, finally, contribute to a GoFundMe campaign to support the families of those who lost loved ones in the Quebec City mosque attack:
While you and I cannot eradicate the possibility of this kind of senseless violence happening again, we can do our part to stand with those affected, to express our profound sadness at what has occurred, and to state categorically that actions such as these are contrary both to our Christian faith and to our understanding of what it means to live in Canada.
LOCAL NORTH VANCOUVER INFORMATION
Masjid ar-Rahman (the mosque in North Vancouver)
1398 W. 15th St..,
North Vancouver, BC V7P 1N2
Send messages of support to the Masjid ar-Rahman community at [email protected]