Forty-nine people have died after a gunman opened fire at two mosques Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand. More than 20 others were wounded.
Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) chaplains based in Australia and New Zealand are responding to Christchurch and will have a ministry of presence around the memorial sites.
“You have people of all faiths showing up at the memorial site,” said Jack Munday, international director of the Rapid Response Team. “We’re there for the whole community.”
Two chaplains from Australia are flying there today, while three others are already living in New Zealand, including a husband and wife team from the United States who live in the Christchurch region.
“Pray for the 49-plus heartbroken families who lost loved ones in the horrific attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand,” Franklin Graham wrote on Facebook. “I’m thankful that the gunman was apprehended and will be held responsible for his actions.”
The shootings come less than six months after a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue where 11 people were killed. Crisis-trained RRT chaplains responded in the wake of that tragedy to offer emotional and spiritual care.
The Australian Rapid Response Team is also ministering in Queensland after the historic Townsville flooding, which has caused major damage since early February.