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From Our Bishops

Bishop Fenty urges Anglicans to overcome hatred with love

By Bishop Peter Fenty

Bishop Peter Fenty

We are saddened and shocked by the senseless and inhumane attack yesterday on Quebec City’s Grand Mosque in which six persons were killed and many others seriously injured while at prayer. Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy are with the families of those who died and are injured. We also extend to the people of the province and Quebec City our condolences at this time of human tragedy.

Violent acts such as those carried out yesterday while Muslims were gathered in prayer must always be strongly condemned by all of us in society who believe in justice and righteousness. Persons of all faiths should have confidence that they can gather for worship and prayer anytime without fear. We must not allow those who would seek to harm us in the places we believe most safe, to cause us to stop holding firm to our religious convictions whatever they are. It is particularly important that we do not allow ourselves to be drawn into the temptation to fight evil with evil. Evil exists and it is a reality in the world and is sometimes exhibited in the communities where we live.

We believe that “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, … love never ends” (1 Cor. 13: 7-8). Hatred does not win, and we must by our living overcome hatred with love.

We stand in solidarity with the Muslim community in Quebec City, here in Toronto and in all our communities, as we grieve with them. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are obligated “to strive for peace and justice among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” Let us model that behaviour every day with the hope that others may be inspired and influenced in the same way.

I call upon those Anglican parishes in our Diocese with connections to mosques to reach out to Imams and their people, letting them know that we stand with them in this time of trial. I also encourage that you attend any vigils or gatherings organized to bring Muslims, Christians, people of other faiths and others to witness what the Anglican bishops of Quebec and Montreal wrote in their letter today, “In participating in such gatherings, we can give expression in a small but meaningful way to the Fourth Mark of Mission, which calls us to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation.”