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Singer-songwriter John Mayer opened a recent concert in New Zealand with a powerful rendition of “How Great Thou Art.”

“Thank you for coming out under such heavy circumstances. It means a lot to me,” Mayer said at the start of the mid-March show, which came not long after the deadly mosque shooting in Christchurch.

Mayer sang the Christian hymn alongside a group of local New Zealand artists, who sang the prayerful song in their native language, Māori.

On March 15, New Zealanders endured the worst massacre on their soil — outside of wartime — in more than 200 years. At least 49 people were killed during attacks on two mosques, leaving dozens of others critically injured.

The attacks began during Friday prayers, when each mosque was full of worshipers.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her nation’s values would not be shaken by the deadly attacks, but described the day of the shooting as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded in the immediate aftermath of the attack, saying, in part, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate.”

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Author: Tré Goins-Phillips

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