It is Friday. This is the primary day of gathering, observance and prayer for Muslims. They will gather this Friday afternoon for Jum’ah, just as we will gather Sunday morning for worship, once again looking over their shoulders in fear of violence in their places of worship. Please take time today to hold our Muslim sisters and brothers in prayer. If you have connection with Muslim co-workers, spiritual leaders or neighbors, I encourage you to reach out to them personally in whatever way you believe is appropriate.
I write because yesterday there was a mass shooting in a Mosque in ChristChurch, New Zealand. Officials there refer to this as a terrorist attack. You have doubtless hear the news. A self-identified “White Supremacist,” Australian citizen, clad in a camouflage uniform, open fired on people in prayer. At this time 49 are believed dead and at least 20 others are injured.
A news commentator this morning referred to this as an act of “White Isis”, explaining that White Supremacy attacks, recruitment, radicalization and propaganda, directly parallel those of the Isis of Muslim extremism that we also read about in the news. Clearly. This is an issue for all for us.
So, let us pray. Let us find ways to stand in solidarity with those who seek peace. Be active, as you feel called and have opportunity, in reaching out to those of all faiths with assurance and compassion. May the intent under which this country was founded, that that people of all faiths might worship in peace and gratitude, be a growing reality.
Bp. Dave Brauer-Rieke
Oregon Synod – ELCA