News Release

Church Leaders Visit New Zealand Mosque

Latter-day Saints help Muslim community rebuild following terrorist attacks

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Thursday during their ministry in the Pacific.

 

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Sister Sharon Eubank, president of Latter-day Saint Charities and first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, and Sister Becky Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, were invited to the Al Noor Mosque, one of two mosques involved in terrorist attacks last March.

They met with Hafsa Ahmed, founder of the Lady Khadija Charitable Trust, an organization that serves Muslim communities in Christchurch.

“I'm really grateful to The Church of [Jesus Christ of] Latter-day Saints for helping us through in whatever support they've been giving the community, the Muslim community, and the families that have been impacted by this tragedy,” said Ahmed.

Sister Eubank recognized Ahmed for her work, including her efforts in initiating an interfaith service project known as “Boxes of Love.”

“I just want to say thank you from not just me, but from all those people who read about the heartbreaking loss and wanted to do something to help,” expressed the leader of the Church’s global humanitarian efforts.

Sister Eubank said it was a privilege for members of the Church of Jesus Christ to work alongside the Muslim community in gathering and packaging food and other items for delivery to families affected by the attacks.

“They want to go on beyond the physical boundaries of the mosque to make sure that the community is a sacred, welcoming, open place, and I was just really touched by that,” she said.

Ahmed said the interfaith leaders want their youth to get to know each other. “It will be important for all the faith-based communities to come together because kindness is the underlying principle in all our faiths.”

Sister Eubank and Sister Craven were taken inside the mosque to see the rebuilding efforts.

“It was nice to see the mosque . . . once again dedicated for a place of worship,” said Sister Eubank.

“It really was an incredible experience . . . as we walked into the mosque and were greeted so warmly by the people that we consider our sisters, and we shed some tears together and we shared some experiences together,” added Sister Craven. “Regardless of our differences, we have so much in common.”

In May, President Russell M. Nelson met with Muslim leaders in Auckland, New Zealand, during his Pacific ministry. The prophet donated $100,000 on behalf of the Church for the rebuilding effort of two mosques in Christchurch following March’s terrorist attacks.

Before leaving New Zealand, Sister Eubank and Sister Craven participated in meetings with women and young women in Hamilton and Dunedin. They concluded their visit in Fiji. Other stops in the Pacific included Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Updated November 1, 2019. 

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