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By Antonia Blumberg
The November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris has left the world reeling. Once again, religion is at the crux of a tragedy that has threatened to tear the global community apart.
But in Bethesda, Maryland, Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders stood together to share a message of solidarity. Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church hosted an interfaith service on Sunday, joined by members of the Bethesda Jewish Congregation and the Islamic Community Center of Potomac. Dr. Tarek Elgawhary of the ICCP, Rabbi Schnitzer of BJC and Pastor David Gray of BHPC led the congregation through a conversation entitled, “The Pitfalls and Promise of Fear in Our Traditions and World.”
“Today we lift up the ashes of our loss,” said Schnitzer during the service. “The lives that continue, haunted forever by the pain of absence, we lift up the ashes of our remorse. For the charred visions of peace and the dry taste of fear, we lift up the ashes of our grief.” The service included music and readings from Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions, followed by a shared meal for all those in attendance.
Breaking bread together “further created a sense of community among people who experience the sacred in different ways but also who share much in common,” Gray told The Huffington Post.
With Sunday’s service, the religious leaders joined countless others around the globe who are calling for peace in the midst of such unrest.