MONDAY 15 DECEMBER 2014
For immediate release
Mosques, synagogues and churches open to pray for Sydney hostages and national unity
Mosques, synagogues and churches are inviting the public to gather tonight to pray for a peaceful resolution to the hostage situation in Sydney, for unity, and against violence, fear and hatred of all kinds.
Mosques, including Lakemba Mosque (63-65 Wangee Rd, Lakemba) and Auburn Gallipoli Mosque (15-19 Gelibolu Parade, Auburn) in Sydney, Omar Bin Alkhatab Mosque (658 Marion Rd, Park Holme) in Adelaide and Holland Park Mosque (309 Nursery Rd, Holland Park) in Brisbane will join with churches and synagogues across Australia in opening their doors from 8pm for prayer and as a show of community solidarity.
"In times of great adversity it is imperative that we remain calm, united and stand together in solidarity. Our hearts and prayers are with the hostages and their families," said Samier Dandan, President of the Lebanese Muslim Association.
“We are calling on all those who believe in prayer, to pray for the safety of the hostages, and that our nation will not become hostage to fear and hatred," said Jarrod McKenna, National Director of Common Grace and Westcity Church Teaching Pastor. St George's Anglican Church in Paddington and St Mark's Darling Point are among those that have already opened their churches to the public to pray.
Ali Kadri, President of the Holland Park Mosque in Brisbane said, "One of the greatest strengths of our nation is that we come out stronger from every calamity - and we will come much stronger out of this and strengthen our country through our unity and diversity"
In Adelaide, faith leaders from a range of traditions and denominations will gather at Omar Bin Alkhatab Mosque from 8pm to pray for those being held hostage and for national unity.
"At times like this, there is a clear choice before us: unity or division," said Pastor Brad Chilcott, "We can put our arms around each other and share our common fears, or we can turn on one another because of them. It is the choice for unity that will build a healthy future."
"Our clear message is that hate and prejudice only add evil to evil, and violence to violence. Don't buy into it," he said.
In Melbourne, the Caulfield Hebrew Congregation synagogue will open for prayers from 7pm (572 Inkerman St, North Caulfield) and in Canberra, the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre will host an interfaith prayer service from 730pm (180 London Circuit, ACT).
For more information or interviews please contact
Pastor Brad Chilcott 0410 548 637 (Activate Church Pastor, Welcome to Australia National Director)