Local faith leaders respond to New Zealand attacks

Local faith leaders respond to New Zealand attacks

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The attack in New Zealand has local faith leaders reaching out to support the Muslim community.

Those with the Interfaith Partners of South Carolina pride themselves on religious diversity. So when the group saw what happened in New Zealand, they put out a statement which said in part:

“We join in the chorus of voices condemning these destructive acts of hatred, and today we mourn alongside our Muslim friends and colleagues in South Carolina, New Zealand, and around the world.”

The president of the organization, Adrian Bird says in a time like this, people of all faiths can benefit from healing and understanding.

"We spend time getting to know one another. We try to build bridges of understanding- again no shortcuts. It takes time, but once we have those relationships in place, then we can mobilize quickly and stand against these vicious acts of hatred."

Members of the group mobilized to attend different mosques today around Columbia for afternoon prayers to offer support to local Muslims. Bird says the attacks are reminders that hate has hit close to home before, but hate can be conquered with love.

“In South Carolina, we have the experience, the heartfelt experience of hate crimes being committed in the church. These are worship spaces, sacred spaces. And so as we ask the hard questions about these seemingly never-ending waves of prejudice, hate, and violence and ask how do we challenge that hatred.”

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