Stories of recent church fires in France resurface as Notre Dame burns
According to Snopes: “According to data provided by two official sources (France’s Interior Ministry and the national police), around 700 to 877 acts of vandalism occurred at Christian places of worship in France in 2018, a rate of 1.9 to 2.4 per day.”
The thing that came to mind immediately is Jesus’ beatitudes. How should Christians react to Christchurch? With mourning, a hunger for justice, and peacemaking. Christians must mourn with their Muslim brothers and sisters, thirst for the perpetrators of this heinous crime to be brought to justice, and put every possible effort into brokering peace in an age of furious tribalism.
I also embrace wholeheartedly the poignant wisdom of Dostoevsky quoted by the Anglican bishop of Wellington, New Zealand: At some ideas you stand perplexed, especially at the sight of human sins, uncertain whether to combat it by force or by humble love. Always decide, “I will combat it with humble love.” If you make up your mind about that once and for all, you can conquer the whole world. Loving humility is a terrible force; it is the strongest of all things and there is nothing like it.
Mark Durie, Anglican pastor from Melbourne, Australia
This data is good for everybody!!