A statement from the Minneapolis Downtown Interfaith Senior Clergy
Early this week, two mosques in our city were set afire in an act of religious hatred. In one instance, 100 people were present in the building, including 50 children in the mosque’s day care center. Our houses of worship should be where children feel safest. We are devastated that someone tried to rob families of that feeling of security, and we are thankful that these fires were extinguished before anyone was hurt.
An attack on any person of faith is an attack on all people of faith. An attack on one religious institution is an attack on all religious institutions. As it is written in the book of Ecclesiastes (Kohelet): “And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” We must all stand in solidarity with the Muslim community and unequivocally denounce xenophobia, bigotry, and white supremacy. Horrific acts such as the ones committed against Masjid Al Rahma and the Mercy Islamic Center here in our community tear at the fabric of society and create division where there should be unity, mistrust where there should be understanding, hate where there should be love.
The human religious impulse in its many manifestations is centrally about connection: connection to the sacred; connection to the earth; connection to our human family.
This is central to the mission of the Minneapolis Downtown Interfaith Senior Clergy. We are clergy united despite historical divides over faith traditions, from Judaism to Islam to Roman Catholicism to varied Protestant traditions to Humanism. We unite in the common pursuit of truth and justice.
Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman, Temple Israel
Rev. Judy Zabel, Senior Minister Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church
Rev. Dr. Laurie Pound Feille, Senior Minister, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rev. Peter Nycklemoe, Senior Pastor Central Lutheran Church
Rev. Elijah McDavid III, Senior Pastor, Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church
The Very Rev. Paul J. Lebens-Englund, Dean, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral
Rev. Kevin Kenney, Pastor, Saint Olaf Catholic Church
Rev. Dr. Tim Hart-Andersen, Senior Pastor, Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Rev. Daniel Griffith, The Basilica of St. Mary
Rev. Jen Crow, Senior Minister, First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
Rev. Dr. David Breeden, First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis