Hundreds attend prayer vigil after New Zealand terrorist attack

OKLAHOMA CITY - Several groups gathered at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City to show support for the victims and their families targeted in a deadly terrorist attack in New Zealand.

On Friday, a gunman opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand killing 50 people.

More than 30 people remain in the hospital and a dozen are in critical condition.

Police say Brenton Tarrant, an Australian man, is responsible.

He has been charged with murder.

"Today, love won,” said Senior Imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City Dr. Imad Enchassi.

That’s the message Dr. Imad Enchassi wanted to spread Sunday night.

"Today, the city of Oklahoma City in all of its diversity came together with one voice to reject hate,” said Dr. Enchassi.

His family and friends in faith still hurting from the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.

"Actually, I have a cousin who lives in that very city and when the moment of the name of that city came out, I was sending him messages and no answer,” said Dr. Enchassi.

"Eventually I heard from him,” said Dr. Enchassi. “I cared and worried, as I kept watching all of the social media and news outlets."

The shock rattled the Muslim community in Oklahoma City.

"This is the Oklahoma standard that we rally,” said the Executive Director of Black Lives Matter OKC T. Sheri Dickerson. “We are the community and we are the better part of humanity."

Other church leaders attended the ceremony to show their solidarity.

"Our faith can find us in dangerous places, but at the same time our faith pushes us to love deeper,” said Senior Pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church Larry Krudup.

Dr. Enchassi said right now his neighbors are feeling an overwhelming level of fear paired with an overwhelming amount of support.

"We hurt just like everybody else when we hear news like this,” said Dr. Enchassi.

Dr. Enchassi said he ensures the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City has a high level of security, and he continues to search for different ways to keep his faith community safe.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.