As members of Minnesota’s diverse religious communities, we stand together in strong condemnation of threats of violence made against the Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park. We join our voices also to speak against the desecration of a cemetery of our Jewish sisters and brothers in St. Paul. This threat of violence and the desecration of a sacred place of burial are deplorable – and, especially so, when our Jewish communities are celebrating holy days. These threats and acts of violence are intended to arouse fear and to violate religious feelings. We refuse to be intimidated and to succumb to fear. We stand side-by-side with the Jewish community in courageous resistance to such unacceptable and shameful acts.
We are committed to the ongoing work of building inclusive communities in Minnesota where members of all religious traditions feel safe and supported in their places of worship, and in public spaces, to affirm their religious identities and to practice their faiths without fear. Our freedom to profess our faiths without fear is fundamental to our human rights. Threats and acts of violence against any faith are a threat to us all. We stand in solidarity with, and extend our support to, our Jewish community in resisting intimidation and fear.
Anantanand Rambachan, Hindu community leader and Emeritus Professor of Religion, Saint Olaf College
Rev. Karen Bruins, Lake Harriet United Methodist Church
Charles Curry, Evangelist, Community of Christ
Rev. Ben Connelly, Soto Zen Priest, Minnesota Zen Meditation Center
Prabhat Tekriwal, member of the Hindu community
Dr. Hans Gustafson, Director of Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies, University of St. Thomas
Dr. Deanna Thompson, Director of the Lutheran Center for Faith, Values, and Community, Saint Olaf College
Rev. Thomas Duke, Lutheran pastor (retired)
Rev. Grant Abbott, Episcopalian
Becca Buse, Interfaith Youth Core Alum