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Police clash with rioters after Assyrian Bishop Mari Emmanuel was stabbed in Wakeley on Monday (The Catholic Weekly/Giovanni Portelli)

A diverse group of New South Wales faith leaders, Premier Chris Minns and the Minister for Multiculturalism Steve Kamper have released a joint statement in an effort to calm tensions following the knife attack at a Sydney church on Monday. Source: The Echo.

Mr Minns and Mr Kamper said on Tuesday they “convened a meeting of faith leaders representing religious communities across Western Sydney” who “endorsed and supported the statement … that calls for calm, to follow police instructions, and for peace”.

The statement reads:

“Places of worship are places of peace and prayer. The people who gather there should never feel threatened or unsafe, no matter what religion they follow. As faith leaders representing the diverse religious communities of New South Wales, we stand united against all forms of hate and violence.

“Our prayers are with the victims and we call on our communities to extend our message of care and compassion to all.

“We have trust in our police and first responders and full confidence in their work. Police should never be attacked for keeping our communities safe. The scenes we witnessed after the attack are unacceptable to anyone, and especially to people of faith.

“For people of faith, religion is never a justification for violence. It has been a very difficult week but we are a strong community in New South Wales. We call on everyone to act with kindness and respect for each other. Now is the time to show that we are a caring and united community.”

This statement was agreed to by all members of the NSW Faith Affairs Council, including Sydney Archdiocese’s director of public Affairs and engagement Monica Doumit, Parramatta Diocese interfaith commission member Katherine Xavier and Melkite Charitable Foundation president Monica Chahoud.

The joint statement was also supported by Chaldean Archbishop Amel Shamon Nona, Maronite Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay and faith leaders from the Assyrian Church of the East, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils and the Lebanese Muslim Association.


Statement of faith leaders following attack in Sydney (The Echo)