Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, issued the following statement in the wake of the attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand:
“Our hearts are heavy today as we try to comprehend the aftermath of the tragic murders of 49 people and the wounding of at least 20 others in New Zealand. This brutal attack by a white nationalist is another reminder of the threat posed by the global reach of hateful extremism and ideologies based on division, fear and violence. We must stand united against this growing plague of hate.
“The right of people to gather peacefully for worship is a fundamental human freedom. It must be protected, and it cannot bend even in the face of the most extreme forms of violence.
“We stand united with Muslims in New Zealand and around the world as well as all the people of New Zealand during this difficult time.”
Americans United is a religious freedom advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, AU educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.
Associate Vice President of Communications