The National Association of Evangelicals expresses deep sadness for the loss of lives at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The NAE joins fellow Christians in humble prayer for the victims, bereaved families and the community in this time of tragic loss and trauma.

“In times of unexpected tragedy, we turn to our faith for comfort and healing,” said Leith Anderson, NAE president. “We honor the memory of those who died and choose not to be desensitized by any life lost — no matter how frequent mass shootings may become.”

According to some reports, Christians may have been targeted in the shooting. Anderson said, “From almost every nation in the world — including our own — we hear reports of those who are targeted, threatened and injured because they are followers of Jesus.”

As a recent motion by the NAE board states:

At a time when terror and violence are wreaking havoc in so many parts of our world, we remember that Jesus also endured persecution and violence on our behalf. Through his suffering, death and resurrection he opened the way to life for all humankind. May the faithful witness of the martyrs “of whom the world is not worthy” (Hebrews 11:38) draw many to put their faith in Christ, our only hope.