Our Common Humanity Betrayed


We are heartbroken and grieve for the shattered families whose loved ones were murdered by a fanatic white supremacist in Christchurch, New Zealand. Thoughts and prayers to ease the pain of these, the latest victims of hatred and racism, now must be coupled with action to address the spread of violence, hatred, and bigotry that has emerged in all too many places.

We have an obligation to respond with laudable actions of the sort taken by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who immediately changed her nation’s gun laws and refused to give the murderer the notoriety he craved. Leadership must categorically condemn those individuals and groups that support and encourage such actions.

The Center for Interreligious Understanding (CIU) has historically affirmed the intrinsic dignity of all human beings, which must be respected and defended. No individual should be afraid of going to a place of worship, a school, a concert or other event, or even feel unsafe in their own homes because hate-filled individuals have access to weapons of war. No one should ever be targeted for the color of their skin, their gender, religion, or nationality.

We of the CIU pledge to do more in our efforts to stop baseless hatred, especially by encouraging all world religions to examine, reinterpret, and re-contextualize our problematic religious texts and traditions. We know this does not heal the pain, but it is what we can do now, and we hope it offers some comfort in these devastating times. It is our aim to assist religions to embrace their true calling as the conscience of society and the voice of humanity.


The Center for Interreligious Understanding


The Center for Interreligious Understanding