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A version of this article was published in The Christian Science Monitor’s Christian Science Perspective column, March 18, 2019.
“Hello, brother,” were the last words uttered by a man welcoming worshipers at one of the two New Zealand mosques where deadly shootings took place earlier this year. According to The Christian Science Monitor, “He had seen the gunman approaching, weapon in hand.” And this message of love was how he chose to respond.
This news tore into my heart for several reasons. First, of course, was the horror that the gunman could do such a thing. Then came compassion for the families of the dozens of worshipers who were killed and the dozens more who were wounded.
What happened next stirred me to action. At first, it didn’t register for me that these incidents had occurred in mosques. When it did register, I was ashamed of my feelings: They were akin to mild relief that it hadn’t been a Christian church or a Jewish synagogue.
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