The Revd Philip Brooks, United Reformed Church Secretary for Ecumenical Interfaith Relations, has offered a prayer for the victims of a terrorist attack that took place in Christchurch, New Zealand, today (Friday 15 March).
As Muslims gathered at two mosques for morning prayers, a coordinated attack left 49 people dead and many more seriously wounded.
Four men and a woman have been detained, and one of the men has been charged with murder. Mr Brooks prayed:
God of all peoples,
We bring to you the horror of the shootings at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
We pray for those injured or bereaved by the violence,
for all those who live in fear of future terrorist atrocities.
May your gracious compassion surround and uphold them.
May they see you in those who respond with compassion and care.
Let the design of your great love shine through the pain and bring a new commitment
for all of us to address the shortcomings of the world with its evil divisions and hatreds.
We know you to be a God whose will it is for violence to end,
who hears our cries, feels our pain, heals our wounds and walks with us in our grief.
God of grace, help us to bring about your vision for this world,
a world where people of all faiths, races and cultures are set free to live in tolerance and mutual respect;
a world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love.
And give us the inspiration and courage to build it,
Top picture: A still from a news report showing police at the scene of the atrocity. The Lallantop/YouTube
Bottom picture: A man praying. Ismael Paramo/Unsplash