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Montreal religious leaders to form circle of peace at local mosque after Christchurch shooting

People hold up signs as they attend a vigil in Montreal, Sunday, March 17, 2019, following a shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand which left 50 people dead and many more injured.
People hold up signs as they attend a vigil in Montreal, Sunday, March 17, 2019, following a shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand which left 50 people dead and many more injured. Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Montrealers of all faiths will come together for a ceremony one week after the deadly shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The circle of peace, which will be held Friday, will see leaders from different religions join hands around the El Markaz Islami – Islamic Centre in the city’s Saint-Laurent borough.

READ MORE: Montrealers gather at vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque attacks

The goal of the event is to offer love and support after a gunman stormed two Christchurch mosques, killing 50 people and leaving many more injured. Organizers say they need as many people as possible to take part in the symbolic effort.

“By sharing in a circle of peace, we can send a powerful message to the world saying no to hatred and violence,” said Rev. Diane Rollert, the president of the Christian Jewish Dialogue of Montreal, in a statement.

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Organizers are encouraging Montrealers to show up at the mosque and to bring signs bearing messages of peace.

Rabbi Lisa Gruschow called on the public to stand in solidarity with Montreal’s Muslim community.

“None of us should ever have to be afraid in our places of prayer,” she said.

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Last week, Quebecers also gathered outside a Montreal Metro station to grieve the lives lost in the Christchurch massacre. Dozens of people from different faiths offered their condolences and prayers.

READ MORE: Montreal, Quebec City police on high alert following New Zealand mosque shootings

The event will take place during prayers from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the El Markaz Islami – Islamic Centre at 2520 Laval Rd. on Friday.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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