From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Faith Communities Nationwide Join in Prayer, Assistance in Crisis
Carol Fouke <email@example.com>
Tue, 11 Sep 2001 19:10:03 -0700
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.
Contact: NCC News, 212-870-2252; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ncccusa.org
NCC9/11/01 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2001, NEW YORK CITY - Concerned to avert the danger of
retaliatory actions against innocent people in the aftermath of Tuesday's
attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, state and local
ecumenical and interfaith councils across the nation are pulling people of
diverse faiths together for prayer and practical assistance. A quick
survey by the National Council of Churches Communication Department found
"Remembering the false rush to judgment after the bombing of the Federal
Building in Oklahoma City," the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan
Washington (www.interfaith-metrodc.org) is responding to the current
national crisis with the message that all religions "teach the sanctity of
human life" and "apply no veneer of respectability to slaughter carried out
for personal vengeance or political purpose."
Embodying this message, the Conference is gathering leaders and members of
diverse faith traditions to pray together at The Islamic Center (2551
Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.) at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday,
September 13. The public is invited to join people from the Bahai'i,
Hindu-Jain, Islamic, Jewish, Latter-day Saints, Protestant, Roman Catholic
and Sikh faiths, the members of the InterFaith Conference.
Following the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City,
many Muslims in U.S. communities suffered threats, harassment and incidents
of violence. In the aftermath of Tuesday's attacks, the InterFaith
Conference is one of many interfaith and ecumenical organizations around
the country working to help forestall retaliatory actions in their
communities. Other examples of this effort include:
Inter-Faith Ministries, Wichita, Kansas, whose executive director, the Rev.
Sam Muyskens ( email@example.com ) has called for calm and for prayer.
Inter-Faith Ministries has welcomed persons of all faiths to a Tuesday
prayer service at 7:00 p.m. Originally planned to be held at City Hall,
the service was moved to First United Methodist Church in the downtown
area, due to security concerns.
At this critical moment, Inter-Faith Ministries is demonstrating the gifts
that a united interfaith community can offer. In addition to the service,
the organization is fielding a trained interfaith Crisis Incident Stress
Management team at the airport to offer support to the many people who had
to land unexpectedly at Wichita. And they are cooperating with the Red
Cross to offer housing to stranded travelers in churches and in dorms used
by voluntary agencies.
The InterReligious Council of Central New York (IRC) (IRCCNY@aol.com),
whose diverse community includes Jews and Palestinian Arabs and Christians.
IRC's executive director, the Rev. Robert Hanson, noted that the
organization's statement urging "calm and respect for our fellow human
beings" was drafted with the help of a Jew, a Presbyterian and a
Despite such successes, the Rev. Hanson says he fears that the nation "has
not yet figured out that it is the most religiously diverse country in the
world" and that intolerance still exists. In response to this and other
diversity issues, IRC has sponsored a community-wide program of dialogue
circles on diversity that has trained 1,000 persons. The Rev. Hanson says
the program has been a gift to the Syracuse area and has helped to make
community meetings more productive. "This will be the real test" of its
effectiveness, he said, referring to Tuesday's attacks.
The West Virginia Council of Churches (www.wvcc.org) and its member bodies,
which has called for interfaith prayer vigils to be held throughout the
state on or before September 16, in response to Tuesday's attacks. "We are
encouraging all religious communities in the state to join together in
prayer for all people," said the Rev. Nathan Wilson, the council's
executive director. "At the same time, our faith calls us to discourage
any retaliatory actions in response to what would appear to be terrorist
Note to reporters/editors: Contacts for other ecumenical/interfaith
councils are available from the NCC Communication Department (212-870-2252
or 2227) and in the 2001 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches.
Browse month . . .
Browse month (sort by Source) . . .
Advanced Search & Browse . . .