22 March 2019 | The Adventist denomination’s North American Division issued the following statement regarding the Christchurch, New Zealand, shootings last week that claimed the lives of 50 Muslims:

The leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America is shocked and saddened by the recent violence that took the lives of 50 worshippers as they celebrated their Friday prayers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. What should have been a quiet time in worship quickly transformed into a time of despair, fear, and pain. Our prayers go out to all those impacted by this senseless act of hate. We ask all our members to pray for the families of the victims, and to reach out to their local Muslim communities to affirm their right to worship as they see fit.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has always been a strong supporter of religious liberty and it is in times like these that our voices need to be heard loud and clear in supporting our brothers and sisters of other faiths in their time of need. The right to worship is a basic human right. When one group is violated, it impacts us all.

Acts of hate serve to destroy our communities and drive wedges of discontent between different cultures and faith traditions. Let us all serve as beacons of light to destroy the hate that darkens our world. Let us serve our brothers and sisters in their time of need. Just as the Good Samaritan served someone of a different faith, let us “go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37, NIV).

Daniel R. Jackson, President

G. Alexander Bryant, Executive Secretary

Randy Robinson, Treasurer