Dec 14, 2019

Global gun violence targets worshippers of all faiths

In this image, the front gate of the mosque targeted in the Christ Church shooting is seen with a sign that says "Allah Bless our Country"

The Al -Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand on Sept. 13. Photo: Tessa Burrows/Getty Images

Hundreds of clergy and worshippers of various faiths were killed at temples, synagogues, churches and mosques around the world this year, AP reports.

The big picture: The Christchurch mosque attacker killed 51 people and the event led to international calls to action against online extremism and terrorism fueled by white supremacist ideology. But other attacks gained sparse international attention, like a deadly Dec. 1 shooting at a Protestant church in the West African country Burkina Faso.

  • In January in the Philippines, two suicide bombers killed 23 people and wounded about 100 during Mass in a Roman Catholic cathedral on a predominately Muslim island, per AP.
  • More than 100 people at Catholic churches and a Protestant church were killed on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka by local militants, AP reports.
  • A shooter who targeted a California synagogue soon after Easter told a 911 dispatcher that "he had just shot up a synagogue to save white people from Jews," per AP.
  • In October, more than 60 people were killed during Friday prayers when a village mosque in eastern Afghanistan was bombed, AP reports. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • A shooter tried and failed to break into a synagogue in Halle, Germany during Yom Kippur services in October, per AP. When the gunman was unable to get inside the packed service, he shot people in nearby streets, killing two and injuring two others.

Flashback: Last year, a lethal shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh likely marked the deadliest attack on Jewish people in the U.S., according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Go deeper: What the deadliest mass shootings have in common

Go deeper