PRIME Minister Scott Morrison and his family have gathered in prayer with about 200 parishioners at a Coptic church in southern Sydney following Friday’s massacre in Christchurch.
Mr Morrison arrived at St Mark Coptic Church in Arncliffe in southern Sydney with his wife and two daughters on Sunday morning.
He was joined by Immigration Minister David Coleman to pray for the victims of the massacre.
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Fifty people died in the attack on two mosques on New Zealand’s South Island and about 50 people are still in hospital.
Mr Morrison urged Australians to come together and spread messages of hope after the “horrendous and despicable” attack.
“In a moment, innocence can be attacked and lost by an act of hate,” he told the congregation on Sunday.
Sunday’s gathering was attended by several religious leaders and the consular general of Egypt.
Bishop Anba Daniel of St Shenouda Monastery said the Coptic community condemned the “cowardly” atrocity in Christchurch.
“When someone goes into a church, mosque or temple or any place of worship and shoots innocent people – it is not acceptable in any way,” he told the gathering on Sunday.
He called on governments to listen to the concerns of people and do something to stop such an attack from happening again.
The prime minister will later join politicians and religious figures including the Grand Mufti of Australia at Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral for an interfaith prayer for the victims.
Members of the public “from any denomination” have been invited to pray alongside Mr Morrison, Grand Mufti Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, the New Zealand Consul General to Australia Bill Dobbie and others.
The gathering will take place at 3.30pm on Sunday.
Nearby, a rally to show solidarity for the Muslim community is expected to draw a large crowd.
Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi, along with a number of activists, are set to make speeches at a rally outside the New Zealand consulate on Sunday afternoon.
© AAP 2019