Preston vigil pays tribute to those killed in Christchurch terror attack

Vigil organised by the Preston Faith Forum to honour the victims of the New Zealand terrorist attacks. Picture by Paul Heyes
Vigil organised by the Preston Faith Forum to honour the victims of the New Zealand terrorist attacks. Picture by Paul Heyes
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People from different religions and backgrounds gathered in Preston flag market on a rainy night to pay their respects to Muslims who were tragically killed in a New Zealand terror attack.

At least 50 people were killed and 50 more were wounded in the far-right terror attack on two mosques in the Christchurch area of the country on Friday.

Vigil organised by the Preston Faith Forum at the Flag Market to honour the victims of the New Zealand terrorist attacks. Picture by Paul Heyes,

Vigil organised by the Preston Faith Forum at the Flag Market to honour the victims of the New Zealand terrorist attacks. Picture by Paul Heyes,

More than 100 people gathered in Preston tonight to light candles in honour of those who had died.

The event was organised by the Preston Faith Forum, along with Preston City Council's Faith Covenant Group.

Numerous people, including Preston Mayor Trevor Hart, Preston Faith Forum chairman Sohaib Ashraf the Light Foundation's Nadeem Ashfaq, Jeremy Dable of the Liberal Jewish community of Preston, Imam Khalid of the Quwwat Ul Island Mosque and Jeff Thompson of St Wilfred's Church, offered words of solidarity and hope at the vigil.

Mr Ashfaq said: "This symbolises togetherness. It symbolises a level of attachment to our fellow human beings who have lost their lives in this tragic terrorist attack.

"That terrorists want is division and disunity, and for people to fight with one another and assault one another, but we are not going to let them win.

"They can do everything to destroy us and divide our communities, but in reality they will never do that. Love always wins. Tolerance always wins."

Andy Pratt, interfaith adviser to the Bishop of Blackburn, brought cards to the vigil written by Sunday School children expressing their support for the Muslim community.

He said: "We were encouraging people in all our churches to pray for our Muslim colleagues to show them that they are loved. I'm here tonight to show the Muslims that they are loved and the people of Preston appreciate and care about them.

"There's a famous quote by Martin Luther King that says that the children of darkness are always more zealous than the children of light. The rest of us need to do a bit more to keep together now, and look after each other."