We, the Cabinet of Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis, speak out in unison today on behalf of our brothers and sisters at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The mayor of Charleston, Joe Riley, said: “The only reason someone would walk into a church and shoot people that were praying is hate.” We cannot silently allow acts of violence and hatred to take lives and instill fear in hearts.
We pray for the victims and their families, and the communities touched by this violence: the Emanuel AME Church family and all of Charleston. We pray for the safety of persons in all congregations, everywhere. We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and the perpetuation of fear. All persons should be safe to gather and pray in peace, regardless of their religion or race, without fear of violence or persecution.
As we seek meaningful change and healing, let us honor the basic tenets of others. Let us pray for understanding of the pain of others. Let us hear one another. Let us commit to creating real solutions that bring an end to unequal treatment and unequal opportunity. Let us all help build a more just and peaceful community.
Interfaith Partnership includes 29 different faith groups in the St. Louis area. Our motto: “As communities of faith, we agree to differ, promise to love, and unite to serve.
Rev. C. Jessel Strong, Cabinet Chair
African Methodist Episcopal Church
Dr. Paul F. Hintze, Cabinet Vice Chair
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints