Justice, reason and respect demand that we respond to the horrific attack that targeted the Islamic community in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15. The death toll has risen to 50 as of March 20, and at least an additional 50 victims were injured in a senseless targeted shooting at two Islamic mosques.

The Interfaith Clergy Alliance of South County stands in solidarity with those who suffer and with the families of those who lost loved ones, and all those whose souls are tortured because of this senseless act of terrorism against the Islamic community.

We call on all people of faith to work alongside South County’s interfaith clergy to do all in our

power to continue fostering understanding., acceptance, healing and respect and to protect those in our community from xenophobia, lslamophobia, anti­ Semitism, and other expressions of senseless hate.

We caution everyone about labeling religious people, especially our Muslim sisters and brothers, immigrants and other minorities with names and slogans that enable unscrupulous people to react with hatred, scorn, fear and violence.

We call upon political leaders and government officials around the world to take real action toward the abatement of weapons that threaten the health, safety and wellbeing of all people.

For now we mourn and pray alongside those who were injured and for all those grieving the loss of their loved ones, that this violence ends.

Together we must work for what is right and just that peace may prevail on earth.

Interfaith Clergy Alliance of South County, including but not limited to:

The Rev. Dawn Boyd, Retired, United Methodist Church, Gilroy

Fr. Robert Brocato, Pastor, St. Mary’s Church, Gilroy

The Rev. Philip R. Cooke, Rector, Retired, St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, Morgan Hill

The Rev. Patrick E. Davis, Pastor, Morgan Hill United Methodist Church, Morgan Hill

Imam llyas Anwar, South Valley Islamic Community, San Martin

Rabbi Debbie Israel, Congregation Emeth, Morgan Hill/South County

The Rev. Ron Koch, Pastor, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Gilroy

Fr. Sergio Ovando, Pastor, St. Catherine Church, Morgan Hill

Fr. Jose Antonio Rubio, Parochial Vicar, St. Mary Catholic Church, Gilroy

The Rev. Lee Tyler, Advent Lutheran Church, Morgan Hill

Pastor Anita Warner, Advent Lutheran Church, Morgan Hill

The Rev. Bill Wilson, Senior Minister, Gavilan Hills Unity Church, Gilroy

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