KAICIID’s Interreligious Board of Directors, composed of religious leaders from five religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism) issued today the following statement on the violent events in Surabaya, Indonesia, where at least 13 people died and over 40 people were wounded in suicide bomb attacks that targeted three churches on 13 May; in Durban, South Africa, where a man lost his life and two others were critically injured after three men stabbed people at a mosque on 10 May; and in Paris, France, where a man was fatally stabbed and four others were wounded on 12 May 2018.
“We are horrified and saddened by the news of horrific attacks on three continents, conducted by people that have either targeted houses of worship or have misused religion to justify their cruel and inacceptable attacks. We pray for all the victims and their families, and call on people of good will around the world to unite against hate and violence in the name of religion.
In Indonesia, the perpetrators ruthlessly abused children to carry out the attacks, aiming at creating as much harm as possible by coordinating bombings around the Sunday morning services in Diponegoro Indonesian Christian Church, Surabaya Centre Pentecostal Church and Santa Maria Catholic Church. In South Africa, innocent people attending prayers at the Imam Hussain mosque found blood and horror in a place of peace.
Bloodshed can never be justified through religion. Anyone attacking people of faith is not only violating fundamental human rights, but is also contravening every religion and creed. For that reason, houses of worship are sacred places. We stand with peace-seeking Indonesians and South Africans that defend the rights of all religious communities to practice their religions in harmony. We also stand with the people of France in these difficult times in which dialogue and respect for each other are more needed now than ever before.”