Mosques in Birmingham are on heightened alert after five were attacked in the early hours of Thursday morning. The five mosques are in the Aston area and at least one attack involved using a sledgehammer to break windows. We can imagine how we would feel if we found our church buildings attacked. Adil Parker, of the Birmingham Council of Mosques, said, ”The congregation is feeling fearful, they feel vulnerable and there is a lot of angst.” Naturally, these attacks are made worse as they follow in the wake of the horrific murders in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
What can we do to love our Muslim neighbours? First we can pray. Pray for those at the centre of the attacks, that they would find peace. Pray for those working to restore peace and bring justice. Pray for the perpetrators, that they would be brought to repentance. Pray for God’s kingdom to come in the lives of all those involved.
And we can speak to Muslims we know, to reassure them. Bishop David writes, “Jesus did not turn his back on those who were in need of comfort or healing. At a time when there is so much uncertainty and distress we will confront vicious violence and evil extremism with constant kindness and firm friendship. If every Christian does something intentional this week to love our Muslim neighbours, colleagues and communities, by prayer and action, we can truly be good news for the West Midlands and the world.”
Yours warmly, in Christ,
Chris Hobbs (Senior Minister/Vicar)