Mosque shooting in Quebec
The North American Division, which represents the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the United States and Canada, issued a statement decrying the mosque shooting in Quebec. That statement is printed below in its entirety.
1-30-17 The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada Issues Statement After Mosque Shooting in Québec
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada joins citizens across our nation in mourning the loss of six innocent lives in the senseless killings that occurred on Sunday evening at the Mosque in Québec City, Québec. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of each victim, continuing to keep them in our prayers. We are heartbroken that a space of safety, security, and peace for many has been violated.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada affirms that there is no place for hatred of a person’s race or religion, as well as the actions that are based on this hatred. We believe that God has called us to love all of our neighbours equally, regardless of race, gender, religion, or lifestyle. Therefore, we stand with the people of Quebec and with the people across Canada that will continue to daily demonstrate a spirit of love, compassion, and peace in midst of such sadness and despair.
We pray for the day when all people of all races, genders, religions, and lifestyles can live their lives without fear or hatred. We encourage the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to embody the character of Jesus by demonstrating the love and compassion He exemplified. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9, NIV).
The world has been shocked time and again by senseless killings of Christians by extremist Muslims. This time an extremist “Christian” senselessly killed Muslim worshipers in their mosque. The first “natural” response of Christians would be: “Tit for tat”, “Now it is their turn, serves them right!” Is this an appropriate response?
Media coverage over many decades has conditioned us to stereotype followers of Islam within a framework of intolerance and terrorism. I think in the process we do a great injustice to vast numbers of peace-loving, hospitable, community minded people who have no interest in violence or promulgating sectarian views of their religion.
In the last few months I’ve determined to try not to get caught up in the polarising debates in the media, but to get to know individual people of the Muslim faith and to be a friend to them. In the process my world has become enriched: The friendly conversation with the Turkish barber who enjoys watching football, the retired medical doctor who now serves as Imam in a local mosque, looking after students who travel from around the world to attend university in a country where the practice of Islam has to be almost invisible in order to keep peace; the eccentric lady from Oklahoma who converted to Islam and now finds herself through a series of circumstances that I have not been able to understand in my community in the North of Ireland, living out her faith in a unique and meaningful way. We’ve shared meals, traded banter, listened to each other’s stories, and generally revelled in hearty, humanising friendship. I pay tribute to my friends, who are different from me in so many ways, but who enrich my life so much.
In the end I think a more tolerant and peaceful world can only be built, one building block at a time through real friendship, tolerance and human interaction. This is something we all can do.
Please share your opinion in the comment box below, or on our Facebook page. Please remember to “Like” our page. Editors