Christchurch attack: Muslim community gathers for Friday prayers one year on

A call to prayer was held at Christchurch's Horncastle Arena on Friday to mark nearly one year since the mosque attacks. 

The shootings claimed 51 lives and happened during Friday prayers.

Farid Ahmed, who famously forgave the alleged gunman, says differences are good if they're dealt with peacefully.

"If someone out there misunderstands us, it's time we sit down for [a] peaceful talk," he said on Friday.

Sunday marks a year to the day since the attack on Christchurch's Al Noor and Linwood mosques shocked the country and echoed throughout the world.

"We retaliated with love, with patience and with peace," Ahmed said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the first anniversary gives New Zealanders a chance to reflect.

Al Noor Mosque Imam Gamal Fouda.
Al Noor Mosque Imam Gamal Fouda. Photo credit: Supplied

"A year on I believe New Zealand and its people have fundamentally changed - I can't see how you can have an event like this and not," she told reporters.

"I think the awareness, the knowledge [and] the understanding that was built between New Zealanders and our New Zealand Muslim community has been really clear to me in the days that followed.

PHOTO:  JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/STUFF

Juma
Photo credit: Supplied

"That in large part [is] because the community opened their doors - I had New Zealanders telling me that they had visited a mosque for the first time."