Members of different faith communities in the area demonstrated the type of unity we’d like to see more of in today’s world on Friday.
Valley residents of various religious backgrounds attended an interfaith vigil at the Islamic Center of the Shenandoah Valley in Harrisonburg after Friday prayers in remembrance of those killed in an attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the week before.
A gunman targeting Muslims killed 50 people and injured dozens more in the March 15 terror attacks.
Friday’s vigil in Harrisonburg was organized by Faith in Action, a coalition of 24 local congregations, including the Islamic Association, as reported in Saturday’s Daily News-Record.
The group held a similar observance at the synagogue in Harrisonburg after 11 people were killed in an Oct. 27 attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Nadia Dames, one of the organizers of the vigil, noted that it was “a sad reason to come together, but another reason to show our solidarity.”
Indeed, the despicable act in New Zealand is not what we want to see to bring people of different faiths together, but it is important that we all stand together in trying times.
Showing solidarity is a powerful response to those whose hatred manifests itself in the most heinous of ways, and it also sends a message of support to those directly affected by the violence.
“In the face of this violence and hatred, may we continue to offer spaces of refuge and solidarity to those who need it,” Dames said at the vigil. “May we continue to worship and practice ways that heal our community.”
We hope vigils like Friday’s do not need to be held again, but we applaud the group for taking action in our corner of the world.
- March 26, 2019
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