A multi-faith gathering to pray for those affected by the mosque shootings in New Zealand will take place in downtown Brockville on Sunday afternoon.
The vigil at Courthouse Square begins at 1 p.m. Plans for the gathering were still taking shape when this article was published.
The attacks at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday left 49 people dead and more than injured. A male suspect in his 20s was arrested and charged with murder, according to reports late Friday afternoon. There were two other suspects in custody, but the roles they might have had in the shootings was unclear.
One of the speakers at the Brockville vigil on Sunday will be Rev. Marianne Emig Carr of First Presbyterian Church. She indicated in an interview on Friday that the gathering is meant to be a show of solidarity to ‘our Muslim brothers and sisters.’
The mosque attacks were driven by hatred of others, according to the minister. “This act is totally abhorrent” to the vast majority of Canadians, she commented. “It’s mind-boggling. I don’t understand it.”
Emig Carr noted that people in the Brockville area have been very welcoming when refugee families have arrived. The newcomers feel bery much at home here and want to contribute to their new community, she added.
In noting that she believes that the emphasis should be placed on what people have in common, the minister has difficulty comprehending how an individual can kill so many others just because they are different. “This is not what God wants,” she stated. “God loves us all.”