An Open Letter From A Catholic To All Muslims, After Christchurch

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Throughout history, I feel as though we have been pitted against each other. Our faiths have been compared and contrasted, scrutinized and praised. We've both faced hatred and bigotry, but stuck it through. Our religions share many morals and values, like living together in peace and love. We both believe in loving and caring for every person blessing this earth, regardless of race, region, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds. All of these are things I'm devastated to say that not everyone in the world agrees with as shown by the violence and hatred wreaking our communities.

With the recent despicable terrorist attacks in Christchurch, I would like to say that I stand in solidarity with you in the face of the violence that has turned the world upside down. I can not stress enough the thought that no person or group, regardless of religion or lack of religion deserves to have violence brought upon them due to the beliefs they harbor.

I was deeply hurt by this attack. I kept picturing that it had been my friends and my family that were the ones injured and killed while they were praying in a place that they believed to be safe and sacred. Every picture of the families and loved ones, of the injured and fallen, crying broke my heart into more pieces.

No person deserves to be killed during an act as peaceful as prayer, where a person is vulnerable in body, mind, and soul. The fact that this did happen shows how many boundaries terrorist hate groups, like the white supremacists, will break to spread their message of hate.

To you, the reader, I'd like to say stay strong. You all are deserving of love, you all are deserving of life filled to the fullest, you all deserve to worship without fear. I fully believe that good will emerge from the sadness that we're all feeling. People have already banded together to show their support for your community, and others hurting from loss, which gives me hope for the future.

To the people of Christchurch, who so unjustly lost their lives to senseless violence brought on by hate, I'd like to say may you rest in peace in a place where your soul can rest safely in the paradise of you're deepest desires. I've kept you in my prayers and my thoughts since I learned about the attack.

I believe there is no place in this world for groups with ideologies that preach hate and fear. I challenge everyone hurt or affected by the events of Christchurch to go out and live your life supporting peace in your communities. Whether this is explicitly like by creating inter-religion clubs that meet to support each other by having parties, movie nights, and things that create strong bonds between different groups or implicitly, like spreading kindness to individual people throughout your day.

To wrap this letter up, I would like to say that love will always overpower hatred. I would, also, like to share a quote and a prayer, both of which have helped me to overcome heartache and to believe in the love God and others bring.

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive." — Dalai Lama

Merciful Lord of Life,
I lift up my heart to you in my suffering
and ask for your comforting help.
I know that you would withhold the thorns of this life
if I could attain eternal life without them.
So I throw myself on your mercy,
resigning myself to this suffering.
Grant me the grace to bear it
and to offer it in union with your sufferings.
No matter what suffering may come my way
let me always trust in you.

Amen.

May peace be with you, always,
Kenzie

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