Statement on Christchurch Shootings

The Des Moines Area Religious Council stands in solidarity with the Muslim community in New Zealand, Greater Des Moines, and across the world today. We are heartbroken and sickened by the horrific attack on the Muslim community of Christchurch, New Zealand. Yet again, a violent anti-Muslim extremist has taken innocent lives in a place of worship.

We call on our supporters and member congregations to speak out against anti-Muslim, antisemitic, and anti-religious hatred in all forms. Under no circumstances must hateful language be tolerated or given a pass. We call on our elected leaders to take seriously the growing threat of extremism, white nationalism, xenophobia, and all other hate-filled philosophies.

We call on the community of Greater Des Moines to build connections with neighbors from across the religious spectrum. We are not powerless in our stand against hatred. It will take everyone intentionally building relationships with people of other faiths to create a community of warmth, appreciation, and one where all people feel safe to worship as they choose.

If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved with interfaith dialogue and relationship-building in our community, visit The Comparison Project at Drake University and the Iowa Interfaith Exchange, or contact Rev. Sarah Trone Garriott, Coordinator of Interfaith Engagement, at or (515) 277-6969.

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