Seventh-day Adventists in Canada have joined with others across the nation in decrying the January 29 shooting at a mosque in Québec City, Québec, that left six dead and 19 wounded, two of those remaining in critical condition according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
A 27-year-old man, Alexandre Bissonnette, has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder while using a restricted firearm, a separate CBC report indicated.
Adventist leaders issued a statement following the attacks.
"The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada joins citizens across our nation in mourning the loss of six innocent lives in the senseless killings"
“The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada joins citizens across our nation in mourning the loss of six innocent lives in the senseless killings that occurred on Sunday evening at a mosque in Québec City, Québec,” the statement said. “We extend our deepest condolences to the families of each victim, continuing to keep each one of them in our prayers. We are heartbroken that a space of safety, security, and peace for many has been violated.”
The statement said the church affirms “there is no place for hatred of a person’s race or religion, as well as the actions that are based on this hatred. We believe that God has called us to love all our neighbors equally, regardless of race, gender, religion, or lifestyle. We stand with the people of Québec and with the people across Canada that will continue to daily demonstrate a spirit of love, compassion, and peace in midst of such sadness and despair.”
According to the statement, “We pray for the day when all people of all races, genders, religions, and lifestyles can live their lives without fear or hatred. We encourage the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to embody the character of Jesus by demonstrating the love and compassion He exemplified. ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God’ (Matthew 5:9, NIV).”
There are approximately 70,000 baptized members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada, officials said, worshipping in 462 churches and companies. The church operates 43 schools over all levels of education from Kindergarten to postsecondary.