January 30, 2017
Dear members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada,
“I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.” - Matthew 25:25
Grace and peace to you.
I am writing to you following the horrific events that occurred last night at a Quebec City mosque during Sunday night prayers.
Freedom of conscience and religion is named first among the fundamental rights of the people of this land in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. How utterly devastating to instill fear and terror in a place where we are supposed to feel safe and welcome.
I want to pass along my deepest condolences to our brothers and sisters who experienced these events last night. Our hearts and prayers reach out to the families of those who were killed, those who were hurt, their families, and all who feel the impact of this terrible act of violence. We extend our commitment to stand with Muslims across Canada.
I call on the members of our church to reach out in a genuine expression of love for our neighbour as we stand in solidarity with the community of le Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec and speak out against all forms of racism and violence against Muslims. Let us pray:
God, our refuge and strength, we lift up before you the victims, families, and community of le Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec. We pray that you would send comfort, healing, and peace to all who mourn. Strengthen us to stand with Muslims across Canada and to speak out against all forms of racism, intolerance and violence. In your holy name we pray. Amen.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop Susan C. Johnson,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada