Top 5 global persecution stories of 2019

People view flowers and tributes placed by the botanical gardens in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 19, 2019. Fifty people were killed, and dozens are still injured in hospital after a gunman opened fire on two Christchurch mosques on March 15. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. |

Dozens killed in Christchurch mosque shootings 

About a month before the Sri Lanka Church bombing, shootings occurred at Linwood Islamic Centre and the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. 

Fifty-one people were killed while 49 others were injured in the March 15 shootings.

The man accused of the crime is 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant, who appeared to use a GoPro helmet camera to film himself killing the victims. Seventeen minutes of his attack was broadcast on Facebook Live

Before the attack occurred, Tarrant allegedly posted a 73-page “manifesto” titled “The Great Replacement.” 

In a section titled “The White Genocide,” he allegedly wrote that mass migration will destroy the culture.

“Thus, before we deal with the fertility rates, we must deal with both the invaders within our lands and the invaders that seek to enter our lands,” he allegedly wrote. “We must crush immigration and deport those invaders already living on our soil. It is not just a matter of our prosperity, but the very survival of our people.”

In June, the mass shooter pleaded not guilty to all charges against him, which include 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one count of terrorism. His trial is set to begin next June. 

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith

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