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Australian Friends offer support to Quakers in Aotearoa / New Zealand Yearly Meeting following the Christchurch tragedy
Jo Jordan, Presiding Clerk of Australian Quakers, has written to Lesley Young, the Clerk of Aotearoa / New Zealand Yearly Meeting, to offer comfort and strength following the tragic massacre of men, women and children at the mosques in Christchurch on Friday 15 March.
(Image: detail from the Aotearoa / New Zealand Quaker Tapestry panel, embroidered by New Zealand Friends, Quaker Tapestry Project )
To Friends in Aotearoa/New Zealand
c/o Lesley Young
Yearly Meeting Clerk
Religious Society of Friends, Te Hāhi Tūhauwiri
40A Chatham Ave
Auckland 1025 Aotearoa/New Zealand
Quakers in Australia reach out to you across the ocean to embrace you, to offer you comfort and strength following the tragic massacre of
men, women and children at the mosques in Christchurch on Friday 15 March.
We share your shock at the death, injury and suffering inflicted on our neighbours by an Australian gunman. We share your horror and confusion at this senseless act of violence.
We know that violence is not a solution to anything. Following this attack, we have been uplifted by the heartfelt expressions of sympathy and support by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and by affirmations of love and compassion by the citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand. They affirm that they are a people who extend welcome, hospitality and peace to people of all faiths.
Following the massacre at Port Arthur in Tasmania 23 years ago, Australia initiated laws and regulations which restricted the sale and use of firearms. The incidence of gun violence has significantly reduced as a result, according to the Quaker Peace and Legislation Committee’s Action Alert July 2016. We hope that a safer environment for all in Aotearoa New Zealand may result from changes to legislation in future.
May the messages of love, hope and unity expressed by people everywhere be the active, lasting memorial of this tragic event. In the words of William Penn “force may subdue, but love gains.”
In peace, friendship and sorrow,
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia