Here follows a statement from Archbishops Philip Richardson and Don Tamihere, joint leaders of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand.
“We are shocked at the appalling and horrific acts of violence that occurred in Christchurch today.
“We feel utterly saddened for those who have lost their lives, and for their families and loved ones who mourn them. Indeed, we mourn with them as fellow citizens and members of the same human whānau, and we utterly condemn the despicable and cowardly acts of violence that took their lives.
“The freedom of worship and religious life is an absolute right to all in this land. We choose to stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters and support their continued and inalienable right to live and worship here in peace.
“All of us who live here in Aotearoa New Zealand must stand in solidarity in the face of such evil – and we call upon Anglicans throughout Aotearoa New Zealand to uphold all those affected in prayer, and to respond to this act by rejecting the rhetoric of hatred and religious intolerance, and to show compassion and kindness to all our neighbours who wish to live here in peace.”
Archbishop Philip Richardson, Senior Bishop of the New Zealand Anglican dioceses,
Archbishop Don Tamihere, Pihopa o Aotearoa.