We as leaders, lay and clergy, of diverse religious groups in the Northwest suburbs write in response to the senseless shooting at the Sikh temple in a Milwaukee suburb. We are heartsick that a gunman would shoot people innocently gathered in a house of worship. We grieve with families who lost loved ones, our hearts stand vigil by the injured and our prayers are with the community traumatized by this violence. We hope that with support and understanding the Sikhs of Milwaukee and other cities will find healing and real acceptance.
This is not the first time churches, synagogues, mosques, gurdwaras, temples have been desecrated by violence bred of hatred. Houses of worship must be safe places where families and communities can gather freely to seek connection with the holy. This nation holds dear the idea that each faith must be free to practice unmolested, unharmed, as it does no harm but instead contributes to the common good. An attack on any faith is an attack on the practice of every faith.
Our nation is great because it fosters freedom to worship. We call upon people of all faiths to take time to honor those slain and to pray that no one will again attack folks gathered in innocence. Let us pray that we may not fall into the violent brokenness that has devastated too many nations -- that in houses of worship (and everywhere) we may gather in the spirit of community and acceptance that made this country great.
Let us do more than pray. Let us act toward one another in respect and good faith, living the teachings of compassion of the great religions, and bringing our society back from descent into destruction and chaos and forward into acceptance and true democracy. We pray in different ways yet in one spirit.
Rev. Hilary Landau Krivchenia
Senior minister, Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist in
-- also signed by nine local leaders of faith traditions including Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Jews and Baha'is