Christians Respond to Mosque Attack
In a briefing for faith leaders nationwide conducted by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation related to New Zealand mosque attacks early Friday, they confirmed 49 people were killed and more injured at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The suspect is believed to be from from Australia. He issued a manifesto, and conducted a live streaming of the attacks on two mosques. DHS Secretary Nielsen said: “Religious liberty is a hallmark of this country. Attacks on peaceful people in their place of worship are abhorrent and will not be tolerated. The Department strongly stands with those of all faiths as they seek to worship in peace and we will continue to work with stakeholders to protect the ability of all to worship freely and without fear,"
The Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), asks faith leaders to: “Reflect on today’s attack, and determine how we can collectively better prepare for and mitigate the impacts of a similar incident here in the Homeland. It has been demonstrated in recent attacks such as at the Tree of Life Synagogue in October 2018, that violent extremism is present in our nation and we must learn from previous incidents and apply best practices to avoid impacts to the core of the American way of life.”
CEN’s Founder and President, Mary Marr said: “While there is no known specific threat to the Christian church nationwide at this time, CEN will continue to monitor our federal, state and local sources and advise accordingly. Christians remain the most persecuted faith group around the world. However, an attack on one faith is an attack on all faiths worldwide. This tragedy is a reminder for Christians worldwide to pray; to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement; and to care for those affected by this tragedy including Muslims in the U.S. who are also unsettled and grieving those killed by this attack. Again, let’s be aware, ready and there sharing Christ together.”
Stand ready to respond as Jesus would to protect your own congregation as well as share the Hope of Christ with those who are hurting. Habakkuk 2:
Review the Soft Target in Crowded Places resource
Notify local law enforcement when you see anyone who is:
Loitering around your parking lot
Conducting surveillance around your facility for days
Not following security entry and exit protocols,
Tampering with heating and cooling systems,
Working with children without a background check
wearing bulky clothing
Leaving packages unattended
Calling, emailing or texting threatening messages from outside sources
Breaching your intrusion systems
Tampering with your gates or locks
Driving vehicles into crowded non-secure areas
This tragedy is a reminder for Christians worldwide to pray; to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement; and to care for those affected by this tragedy including Muslims in the U.S. who are also unsettled and grieving those killed by this attack. Stand ready: Habakkuk 2.
- For Christians to respond with the love and Hope of Christ as others may ask “Where is God in this?” regardless of faith affiliation.
- For First Responders will be protected and vigilant both in New Zealand and here in the U..S.
- For the CEN to continue to work even more closely with first responders on behalf of the Christian community particularly in the areas of information sharing to prevent incidents, to build upon law enforcement relations, and to respond to incidents effectively.
- Review your ReadyChurch security plan and insure your congregation is reporting suspicious activities in and around your church facility.
- Report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement as these reports have substantially reduced incidents in the past two years according to the FBI.
- Demonstrate the love of Christ with all those He places in your path regardless of faith affiliation.
- Words of encouragement to your local first responders who put their lives on the line every day for our safety and recovery.
- ReadyChurch with your pastor and staff for your own congregation to be ready spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically if there is an incident at your church.
- ReadyCity with your Christian city leadership to form a citywide response team ready to respond to incidents like these in a manner which Glorifies the Lord.