Bishops Urge Prayer and Solidarity After Quebec Attack

Posted January 30, 2017

"We awoke this morning to the horrific news of the heinous act of violence at Quebec City’s Grand Mosque," wrote Quebec Bishop Bruce Meyers and Montreal Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson, in a joint pastoral letter issued on Monday January 30.  "Along with our grief and prayers we are called as disciples of Jesus to express our solidarity with our neighbours who are Muslim." 

The bishops also encouraged Anglicans to participate in public expressions of solidarity to 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."

CBC News reported that six people are dead and 19 were wounded after an individual opened fire during evening prayers at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec.

Bishop Michael Bird invited prayers for "all those affected by this act of violence." He attended an event at Hamilton City Hall to express his solidarity with the people of Quebec City and the Muslim community, both locally and nationally. 

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, offered sympathy and solidarity in the wake of Sunday's attack. An excerpt of his message follows:

My heart, indeed the hearts of all people of good will, goes out to all Muslims across Canada as they struggle with this terrible attack. We hold in our prayers those who have died, for their families and for their imams who care for them in their grief. We also pray for those who have been injured and for those tending them. We remember too the police, and all others whose daily work is to “serve and protect”.

At moments like this, people of faith must stand together in solidarity for those values common to our respective religious traditions: the adoration of God, the respect we owe one another as fellow human beings, and the care with which we tend the earth, our common home.

A statement by the Canadian Council of Churches urged Canadian Christians to oppose "hate and prejudice that disfigures our communities and leads to violence both at home and abroad" while at the same time striving to protect "the fundamental freedom of conscience and religion for all Canadians."