Responding to two shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, leaders from around the world condemned the display of evil and expressed support for the Muslim victims.
The shootings which took place in two mosques, claimed 49 lives and caused injuries to at least twenty people.
In Britain, Queen Elizabeth II said she was “deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch.”
Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who serves as the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, responded, “There can be few acts of greater evil than the massacre of peaceful people at prayer.”
“The attacks in New Zealand were terrorism of the most despicable kind, callously planned and motivated by the scourge of Islamophobia. The victims and their families are in our hearts and our prayers.”
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, “Israel mourns the wanton murder of innocent worshipers in Christchurch and condemns the brazen act of terror in New Zealand.”
“Israel sends its condolences to the bereaved families and its heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin responded, “I condemn the terrorist attack on the mosques in Christchurch in the strongest possible terms and send my condolences on behalf of the people of #Israel to the families of the victims, the injured, the government and the people of #NewZealand.”
“Murder of people at prayer, in their most holy and sacred place, is a depraved and despicable act. For people of all religions and of none, a red line has been crossed. Our thoughts and prayers for the full recovery of the injured in the #NewZealandTerroristAttack.”
The White House also condemned the attack.
“The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a Friday statement. “We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate.”
Rabbi Shmueli Feldman, the Treasurer, Rabbinical Council of Australia and New Zealand, penned a letter expressing shock and pain of the horrific attack:
“We are deeply pained by the senseless acts of hate and murder that took place today at Mosques in Christchurch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and friends in the Muslim community and beyond.
An attack at a place of worship, indiscriminately targeting civilians, is just pure evil and an affront to all those who cherish life and freedom.
Whilst we are shocked and shaken by everything that has happened, we are also grateful to the NZ police and all of the first responders for their heroic efforts.
The grand Chabad Rebbe, taught of the need to turn tears into action.
I ask all Synagogues, especially throughout Australia and New Zealand, to dedicate prayers this Shabbat for the healing of the victims in this heinous attack.
As we will continue to pray for the speedy recoveries of the many victims and their families, let us take courage from the age-old Jewish adage “a little bit of light will dispel a great deal of darkness”. It is an indisputable reality: when light and goodness encounter darkness and hate, light and goodness will -without fail- prevail.
Lastly, across the globe, people of all faith and persuasions, let us join together, in ensuring that the lives of the victims live on. We do this by continuing the unity being displayed in fighting hate and by the enormous outpouring of love and prayer, in our own homes, respective places of worship and communities and, indeed, in the world at large.