Religious Leaders Stand Up For Peace
Amid a spike in anti-Muslim assaults around the USA since the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino and growing sentiment against the resettlement of Muslim refugees, congregations of all faiths have scrambled to think of ways to curb the violence and call for peace. In Washington, D.C., the Washington National Cathedral played host to an interfaith pilgrimage of Christians, Jews and Muslims who walked with each other from congregation to congregation, calling for the faithful to choose “unity over extremism.”
For over 90 minutes, a small yet influential group of religious leaders marched with dozens of community members from the Washington Hebrew Congregation to the cathedral before ending at the Islamic Center of Washington. Along the way, they held signs quoting the Quran on unity and condemning extremism.
“O humankind, indeed we have created you male and female and made you peoples and tribes, that you may know each other,” (Quran 49:13).
The two-mile walk included Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington; Rabbi David Saperstein, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom; the Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig of the Washington Hebrew Congregation; and Imam Talib Shareef of Masjid Muhammad in D.C. Upon ending their march at the Islamic center, the clergy and religious leaders shared scriptures and prayers from each of their traditions.