News Release

Church Leaders Attend London Mosque Vigil

Local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in London, Ontario, attended a vigil at the London Muslim Mosque on June 8, 2021, in a show of solidarity and support for those affected by the tragic killing of a Muslim family in the city’s Hyde Park area.

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On June 6, Salman Afzaal, 46, and his wife, Madiha Salman, 44, were walking with their 15-year-old daughter, Yumna; their 9-year-old son, Fayez; and Salman’s 74-year-old mother. In what has been labelled a hate-filled terrorist attack, a 20-year-old steered his truck into the family, killing all but Fayez.

Members and local leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the London Ontario Stake and across the nation express their sorrow at the loss of the family members.

London Ontario Stake President Aaron Withers, who is responsible for Church leadership in southwestern Ontario, has reached out to Islamic leaders and communities throughout the region. He expressed sympathy, support and unity of faith in the power of a loving God to heal and comfort amid great tragedy.

President Withers said, “Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from across the city of London and in our congregations across southwestern Ontario were heartbroken when we heard of the senseless, deadly attack on Salman Afzaal and his family. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the family and the Muslim community at this time of immense sadness. We mourn with them and all in the faith community.”

London Ontario Stake leaders have connected with other faiths and denominations to find ways to increase civility, compassion and appreciation for the immense good that diverse religions and practices achieve in Canadian society.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in caring for all of God’s children. National and local Church leaders repeat and emphasize what Church President Russell M. Nelson has stated: “We need to foster a fundamental respect for the dignity of every human soul, regardless of their color, creed or cause. And we need to work tirelessly to build bridges of understanding rather than creating walls of segregation” (Russell M. Nelson Facebook page, June 1, 2020).

For more information, contact David Sandor, national media specialist for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at david.sandor@churchofjesuschrist.org.

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